What is Cooking Mama: Sweet Shop?
Cooking Mama: Sweet Shop is a sugary sweet, culinary-themed mini-game collection, offering a broad range of sweet treats, baked goods and puddings for you to create. Under the watchful eyes of the titular Mama, you'll be stirring, icing and baking your way to success whilst running your own little sweet shop, selling your finished goods and aiming for sweet-related stardom along the way.
How do you play Cooking Mama: Sweet Shop?
Each of Cooking Mama's sixty or so recipes, from pancakes to gingerbread men, and from cupcakes to cream puffs, is divided into a series of half a dozen or so separate mini-games, each focused on a different aspect of its preparation. Simple Touch Screen-based mini-games will see you tapping to chop up chocolate, stirring batters with your stylus or slicing sponge cakes into specific shapes, generally trying to hit a set target while working to a short time limit. Some mini-games even let you have free reign with an icing bag, drawing your own faces on gingerbread men and bear-shaped pancakes.
Once you've finished your sweet creations, you can display them in your own shop, where customers can come and buy your produce, earning you tickets which you can spend on new outfits for Mama and décor for your shop. Every so often, the Sweet Madam, an expert on all things baked, will stop by asking for a specific item - satisfy her sweet tooth and you'll unlock bonus non-cooking-related mini-games as your reputation grows across the globe.
How easy is Cooking Mama: Sweet Shop to pick up and play?
Both Cooking Mama's mini-games and its light shop management aspects are pretty easy to get into, even for the youngest of players, with the mini-games providing on-screen prompts, arrows and cues for the player to follow as they mix, dice and chop their way through various baked goods. Each mini-game does come with a short sentence or two of instructions, although some are more helpful than others - however, for the most part, the mini-games themselves are so self-explanatory, you'll be fine once you get going. Even if it all goes pear-shaped, there's no such thing as a game over in the world of Cooking Mama, and no matter how badly something turns out, it won't stop you from progressing - in fact, you can do absolutely nothing for the entire recipe, and you'll still be able to complete it, place it in your shop to sell, and unlock the next dish.
With regards to reading, each of the mini-games does come with written instructions, but as they're largely self explanatory - and there's no way to fail - it shouldn't matter too much if your child can't read too well. However, when the aforementioned Sweet Madam comes into your store, she'll ask for a particular dish in text only, although her request is generally accompanied by a picture of said dish, so you should be able to fumble through regardless.
- "This is your shop from today on! Right now it's a little empty, but that'll change… Put your heart into making each sweet and display them in your shop!"
- "Sprinkle a lot on by touching the tea strainer. Be careful the wind doesn't blow it away!"
- "Stir the contents of the bowl with the rubber spatula. Be sure to stop stirring when placing ingredients in the bowl!"
As you can probably guess, Cooking Mama: Sweet Shop is as light and inoffensive as the title suggests - there's no blood, guts and violence, no bad language and no sex references whatsoever. It's a totally platonic cake-baking mini-game collection.