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This is a cooking game and recipe resource with a healthy approach and some great dishes; it just about stands out from the pack!
Being the Domestic Gamer I've seen a lot of these games and at first this one didn't really seem to be offering anything new. The game approaches the genre by encouraging you that healthy food is quick and easy to cook. Tailoring the types of recipes it offers you depending on your ability, budget and time constraints means that you aren't overwhelmed by loads of recipes which are way out of your league.
I have to say though, I am impressed by the quality of the recipe images. I am really fussy when it comes to food photos, anything that looks too glossy or congealed is an instant put-off, but the food in this game is clear and contemporary looking.
There is a good selection of meat, fish and vegetable dishes and some basics as well like roast chicken, mayonnaise and fresh pasta.
The same can be said for the recipes; on first look through the main courses there were loads that I would enjoy cooking. Not too fiddly or fancy and not too every-day either. I liked the look of the courgette and feta tart. There is a good selection of meat, fish and vegetable dishes and some basics as well like roast chicken, mayonnaise and fresh pasta. There is loads of nutritional info on each ingredient and an over-all calorie count for each dish. And even a little intro from the in-house' nutrition who tells you about what you are about to cook.
As with other games in this genre you are able to add ingredients to a shopping list and set up voice recognition to ensure your DS doesn't get covered with food. There is a nice lady to talk you through all the recipes (who I'm convinced is Natasha Kapliniski of 5 news). You can even set an on-screen timer so you don't forget to take your food out of the oven. If I have any criticisms it is that the game is a bit annoying to navigate at first with info boxes popping up every few seconds to tell you different things.
I started off with my preferences to set to low budget and fairly easy food all under 500 calories, so thought it might be interesting to see what kind of recipes I'd get if cost were no barrier and I had all the time in the world to prepare my meal. Oh and it didn't matter how lardy I got eating it!
So the results were, umm, not that different. I only noticed a couple of new recipes in my selection which were slightly more expensive and nicer cuts of meat like Port Duck and Guinea Fowl. The desert selection was slightly better, but that's probably because I put the calorie count up I was wondering why there weren't many in the under 500 calorie section!
I can really see this being used, especially for those who are watching their calories.
But it was nice to see the game trying to personalise itself to who I was as a person. I could even take my picture with the DSi camera and view my smilling face through the game. A bit of a novelty but nice to have something to do with my DSi camera.
On the whole I really like this game. I think it has less of the gimmicks and cartoons that similar games have (though there is a cooking game tucked away in the menu which personally I wouldn't bother with). I can really see this being used, especially for those who are watching their calories. The winning factor for this game really good recipes!
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