Casual

Cooking Star Review

An awesome cooking game that your mama can actually use!

It’s interesting to me how we go through certain phases in game genres each year. One of the big versions of the mini-game genre has been cooking games. No, not games that assist in cooking (although they have those!), but those that simulate cooking through interactive mini games. We eat this stuff up! (lol) So how is Cooking Star different than all the other cooking games on the market? What is it about this game that has kept me playing for the past two weeks, and kept my siblings asking to play it?

The first things you notice about Cooking Star are the wonderfully illustrated backdrops and animations. The game looks, plays, and overall feels much more polished the Cooking Mama on all accounts.  The music and sound effects show just as much love as the graphics. Everything has a very clean and cartoony style to it. But is this game as fun to

Part of your balanced diet.

Part of your balanced diet.

play as it is to look at?

You can bet your rice balls it is!

Cooking Star is an absolute blast to play. There are 8 mini games currently, and all of them are a lot of fun except for the game involving meatballs. I just can’t figure out the technique on that one! Maybe our readers will be better skilled than I am. You’ll be chopping tofu, stacking burgers, rolling rice balls, and all sorts of other tasks. You are doing all this as the up-and-coming female chef. There is a light dialogue-based plot, which basically consists of the lead chef complimenting how amazing you are at cooking, and how much he wants to knead your dough. Wait, what?

When I spoke with Glu about Cooking Star in my preview, they mentioned they would be releasing new mini games on a fairly consistent basis. They haven’t done this yet, but I can tell you right now that on it’s own, Cooking Star is well worth the $1.99 asking price. Aside from five difficulty levels for each game, where the gameplay changes as more things are added for challenge, there is also a “Daily Special” mode. This presents you with five random challenges, at random difficulties. If you can gain enough points in all five, you will unlock a real recipe. There is also a “Challenge Mode” that lets you compete against high scores in the games for recipes.

That tofu never saw it coming.

That tofu never saw it coming.

That’s right, Cooking Star rewards you with recipes  to make REAL food when you complete games on all five difficulties, defeat a daily special, or beat your previous high scores in challenge mode. I don’t have an exact count on the number of recipes to unlock, but there are TON. I would estimate around 40. According to Glu, each one has been tested by Glu for yumminess. What a great job to have!

Presentation & Graphics
5-stars_sm
Wonderfully cartoony artwork and animations. The game is dripping of polish. It’s just so… happy… but without being overdone.

Sound
4pt5-stars_sm
Different music tracks for each game… all good! Sounds effects work well. Again, all completely pro.

Gameplay
4pt5-stars_sm
Very easy to pick up and play. Every person I handed it to was having fun within 5 minutes, and wouldn’t give me back my phone! The 8 games are clever, and the different difficulties provide a good challenge by changing or adding to the original game. What’s up with those meatballs!? Aside from being delicious, of course.

Even the main menu is charming!

Even the main menu is charming!

Gamelife

4-stars_sm
An extremely great value at $1.99. Tons of real food recipes to unlock through beating the minigames in various ways. Games are actually fun to play over and over again, and the recipes provide incentive for doing that. The daily special changes every day. It would be nice to see if Glu will follow up on what they said about adding more games, because 8 is still not a lot, even though they’re all fun. Hopefully more will come when the game sells more.

Game Rating – EDITOR’S CHOICE
4pt5-stars
Cooking Star is by far the best cooking mini game collection on the iPhone, and it’s priced at 1/3 the price of Cooking Mama! To be honest, it should be Cooking Mama priced at $1.99, and Cooking Star at $6.99. But hey, it just means you get to pay less for more quality! You don’t have to be a fan of these kinds of games to enjoy Cooking Star. I certainly wasn’t, and I love it. It won’t be leaving the game page on my iPhone for a long time… my family won’t let me! That and my wife is always looking for new recipes to try.

YUM!

Cooking Star – $1.99

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  • Sunny the Troll Hunter

    Matt, I tend to think that you give you inflate your reviews a little too much. I think this game gets more of a 3-3.5. It was good, no doubt; I did enjoy it. For someone who doesn’t do a lot of cooking anyway I guess I might be missing out on part of what you said made the game so good. I wouldn’t call the game “unmissable,” as a 4.5 is according to your site rules. I don’t think including recipes that can be obtained anywhere on the internet really justifies giving it an extra star. For the price a good buy, but not an unmissable one.

  • Rock $ Rolla

    Awesome

  • Legend.inc

    Thats a point of view you have to live with Sunny. it might not be unmissable for you but it is for Matt. thats why having scores on sites isnt that good. it can provide the readers with opinions at a glance but what you really should look at is the contents of the review itself.

    The reviewers dont spend all the time on review just so that people can go straight to the score without looking at them comeon people read the reviews, i know that it is very important for the people who write them to feel that everyone reads them.

    Matt i think that your review was awesome as they always are. dont give a thought to Sunny’s comment. YOU ROCK!! :D

  • http://nodpad.com No DPad

    I had fun with this game too Matt. And yes, the meatball game sucks! I can’t figure it out either :)

  • Nathan Mustafa

    Matt gives high score to game starring red head…………………. what does this say about Matt? ;P

  • http://www.pyrosmile.org iPGN-Matt

    One thing about reviewing games that most people miss is the fact that we have to review each game in it’s own light. For a cooking mini-game, Cooking Star is the best I’ve ever played, and a game that I am still playing after reviewing it. When a game does pretty much everything right, with almost no flaws, I consider it to be unmissable.

    You also can take into light that Cooking Mama, which isn’t amazing, got 3.5 stars. Cooking Star is much better.

    @Legend: It’s interesting you mention that about the scores, cuz it’s something we’ve discussed several times.

  • Jay

    I completely agree, unless something amazingly bad like GL Golf, We won’t care… and even if it was, the review will just become a joke!

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