My 11-year-old begged-begged-begged for me to download the $6 iPhone app called “Cooking Mama.” Since she begged so sweetly and it was Father’s Day, I gave in.
Now I’m addicted.
This Japanese cooking game, which has been a popular title for the Wii platform, uses both the iPhone’s touch screen and its accelerometer to guide you through (most of the) tasks involved in preparing a recipe under Mama’s watchful gaze. After each step, Mama renders judgment. If you do well, she beams and her eyes light like stars. If you screw up, Mama shoots flames from her eyes (left) but says she’ll fix it. Talk about a mixed message!
At the end, you are awarded with a view of the finished dish and a sprinkling of celebratory confetti.
The pleasure of this game is in its unreconstructed Japaneseness. Playing it will remind you, in a weird way, of the first time you saw “Iron Chef.” Recipes for green soybean soup, sakuramochi (glutinous rice cakes dyed the color of cherry blossoms) and pork stew
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