We don’t watch the Food Network or know who Mory Thomas and Susie Fogelson, but the game seems to be true to the traditional snarkiness of the judges of performance shows of this type. Here, players are “cooking” easy to difficult meals for the judges who either gag on the creations or award medals.
My nine year old daughter enjoyed this game, which is less about cooking than it is about manipulating the nunchuck and remote. The judges, Mory and Fogelson, provide some basic food tips (“bacon will get crispier while it cools,” and “a ripe avocado should be squishy but not too squishy”). She learned a lot about how to use a nunchuck and remote to simulate cooking utensils, but I couldn’t help feeling that none of these skills would translate in any way to the kitchen. Scoring seems to be more on their notions of split-second timing. There is little room for adjusting temperatures or keeping food warm as you complete other tasks.
Unfortunately, there is little explanation along the way about what players are doing wrong and could improve upon for higher scores.
My major complaint with this game is that most of the recipes feature less healthy food choices loaded with cheese and more fatty meats (a lot of bacon). While we love cheese and bacon and serve a lot of it in our house, I couldn’t help wishing they were able to make vegetables a little more fun, or at least integrated into the recipes. Vegetables in most of these recipes are just a side garnish (think guacamole) rather than part of a well-balanced meal.
There are 13 full meal recipes included. Based on the timing of the first five meals, this would be about 6 hours of game play to play them all. My daughter says she would “make” the meals again, especially since she’s getting better at “cooking.”
Net, net, this is a fun game for an aspiring chef with little experience in the kitchen. It’s also a safe way for a small player to cut vegetables without the risk of adding pieces of fingers to the recipe. However, don’t expect kids to learn as much as they would from making a few meals with you in a real kitchen.