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Cooking Mama: Sweet Shop Review: Just Desserts

/ May 22nd, 2017 No Comments

Cooking Mama: Sweet Shop

All good things must come to an end. Cooking Mama is no different … at least on the Nintendo 3DS. According to publisher Rising Star Games, Cooking Mama: Sweet Shop is the final 3DS entry to the Cooking Mama franchise. Luckily, Sweet Shop is a savory treat.

Setting Up Shop

If you’re not familiar with the franchise, Cooking Mama has players cooking up recipes using various interactive gameplay methods. Sweet Shop is all about baking decadent desserts and other sweet treats.

Sweet Shop is not lacking in recipes and mini-games. The game features more than 60 different recipes and 160 unique mini-games. Each confectionery treat is baked by completing a series of mini-games. Players earn a certain score for each mini-game, and all the scores are tallied together when creating the dessert.

To ensure that perfect treat, players can attempt each recipe in practice mode. The downside of this is that you have to complete the entire recipe each time. If you’re only having trouble with one mini-game, it can be tedious to play through every aspect of the recipe just to improve in one area.
 

Cooking Mama: Sweet Shop

It’s a long road to perfect truffles.

Once recipes have been successfully cooked, players can sell the sweets in their in-game bakery to customers that randomly enter. There is a set price for items that is weirdly static regardless if the product is a cake or a cupcake, but sometimes the market doesn’t make sense.

However, there doesn’t seem to be much reason for selling items. In-game cash can be used to purchase aesthetic upgrades to the bakery, but no items that impact gameplay are available. Players eventually get the ability to visit other players’ shops. The added multiplayer component is a nice touch atmospherically, but is only surface deep.

Piece of Cake

The best part of Sweet Shop is the variety in the mini-games. Some are straightforward tests of reflexes, but it can be difficult to understand what to do in some of the mini-games.

A Fruit Ninja-style mini-game has players swiping their stylus across the screen to slice bread, but warns players to not slice anything else. As items fall, it’s a matter of reflexes to quickly react to bread.
 

Cooking Mama: Sweet Shop

Seeking mama’s approval is video games mirroring life.

Another activity has players continuously draw in a circular motion to spray whipped cream onto a dish. If you’re going too fast or too slow, your in-game character will spray whipped cream off the screen or make other mistakes. However, that part of the game is not explicitly explained and can be difficult to comprehend without first experiencing it. You’ll be making mistakes without any real idea as to why.

Mini-games take full advantage of the 3DS’ capabilities. Not only will use the touchscreen and stylus, but you will also need to use gyroscopic controls and the microphone to complete recipes. You may have to actually tilt your 3DS in order to pour out ingredients. This creates a dynamic experience that’s much more than just mashing buttons.

Looks Good Enough To Eat

You will not want to play Cooking Mama: Sweet Shop on an empty stomach. The delicious desserts pop off the screen in 3D and make players wish they could take a bite. A solid physics system and great graphics make everything feel genuinely realistic. In fact, players will likely feel so much pride in their work that they will want to take advantage of the game’s photo mode to capture images of their creations.
 

Cooking Mama: Sweet Shop

You think eating is a game?

The light, upbeat score creates a relaxing atmosphere for backing despite the sometimes manic nature of the mini-games. However, the catchphrases are repetitive and annoying. Phrases such as “Even better than mama!” are used way too often. Luckily, they can be skipped to keep players from going insane.

Overall

The often-repeated catchphrases and a handful of frustrating mini-games drag Cooking Mama: Sweet Shop down, but the overall experience is solid and enjoyable. The game takes advantage of all that the 3DS can do, from its 3D effects to its various control schemes. Anyone who owns a 3DS will find some enjoyment in Cooking Mama: Sweet Shop.

Cooking Mama: Sweet Shop was reviewed on the Nintendo 3DS using a code for the game provided by the publisher.

 

Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson

Associate Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Greg is a Nintendo fanboy who would cry if they ever went third party. He writes news, previews and reviews at Gaming Illustrated.
Greg Johnson

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COOKING MAMA: SWEET SHOP REVIEW: JUST DESSERTS

Gaming Illustrated RATING

Overall81%

GAMEPLAY9

The sheer diversity of recipes and mini-games is backed up by quality within them.

GRAPHICS8

For a cartoonish cooking sim, Cooking Mama: Sweet Shop is mouth-watering to look at.

SOUND7.5

A good soundtrack is sadly weakened by the repetitive voice lines of Cooking Mama.

CONTROLS8

A few annoying mini-games mar what is otherwise an amazing use of the Nintendo 3DS' various pieces of tech from gyro to microphone.

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