Cooking Mama: Cookstar
Top Critic Average
Cooking Mama: Cookstar is a stale, undercooked simulator that needed a lot more time in the oven.
Without motion controls, it also becomes clear how basic the game is. There's no option to use the touchscreen in handheld mode, which would have at least offered the same style of play as the DS and 3DS originals. Replicating the inputs of those games seems like a no-brainer in terms of design compromises, and also a huge wasted opportunity to introduce the fun recipes from those games to a new audience.
If you’re even able to find a copy of Cooking Mama: Cookstar, you should probably reconsider where you’re spending your money.
The odds are quite good that you will never get the chance to play Cooking Mama: Cookstar, and that’s probably for the best. Beyond its status as a curiosity item in the wake of the mess surrounding its release, there is absolutely nothing about Cooking Mama: Cookstar that justifies the price of admission.
While there's definitely room for improvement and expansion, I can see kids liking this game quite a bit. There's plenty to unlock, and hearing that you did something better than Mama brings a smile. As someone new to the series, Cooking Mama: Cookstar felt reasonably fresh to me. But vets may find it more so resembles leftovers. Hopefully, the rights holder and publisher can work things out.
For those who do get the chance, especially if they’re a fan of Cooking Mama, they can do a lot worse. For everyone else, this is a mostly middling effort that might have risen above with greater polish and ambition from all involved.
In terms of what is on offer for a veteran gamer or someone who is familiar with the franchise, you will find this is a lacking option with not a lot of change, variation, or improvements. Motion control issues hamper the experience for anyone going for full completion, and the rest of what you see will remind you of one of the Wii-era titles in the series straight from 2007. As a family game, Cooking Mama: Cookstar offers a serviceable experience for your children for an evening.
Cooking Mama: Cookstar is a solid if predictable entry in the series that provides a decent amount of fun and content for the cost, but not much else.