When it comes to food prep, the Japanese do things, it must be said, a bit differently: Sushi. Fugu. IRON CHEF.
And now Cooking Mama, the Taito game series that imagines what it would be like if the Food Network were overrun with anime characters. Like its brethren for the Nintendo Wii & DS platforms, the iPhone version challenges you to prepare an increasingly complicated series of recipes, making sure both the ingredients and the cooking methods are correct.
Frankly, unless you're a pre-pubescent girl — or an indiscriminate manga fanatic of either gender — the too-cutesy interface is as much of a deal-killer as the rather hefty US$6.99 tag. (On the other hand, a "real" IRON CHEF game — with Morimoto taking his blowtorches and quasi-samuria knives to whatever secret ingredient the Chairman conjures up — might actually be fun to play. Oh wait, there IS an IRON CHEF game!)
And, of course, the problem with ANY kind of game like this is: a half-hour after winning it, you're still hungry. (Sorry, couldn't resist…)
[Buy it on iTunes]