Food Network: Cook or Be Cooked!

The new game for your Wii is called Food Network: Cook or Be Cooked.

Sound a bit like some cannibal’s version of Monopoly?

It isn’t. It’s a cooking game, and it’s fun. What’s more, it just might get your reluctant, picky eater to love cooking as well as eating food. Cook or Be Cooked isn’t only for children: neophytes and experienced cooks will find it fun, too.

The game’s developer is Red Fly Studio, from NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. in partnership with Food Network, for Wii Remote and Nunchuk, who say in their press release:

From introductory lessons to more advanced challenges, Food Network: Cook or Be Cooked will make everyone a star chef. Releasing just in time for the holidays, Food Network: Cook or Be Cooked is an ideal, unique gift for the foodies and aspiring chefs on anyone’s list this season.

What to do?

Super Chef put the game through its motions by calling on our own super kid tester — a highly intelligent ten-year-old athlete, Wii jock, and budding cook. His verdict: two thumbs up, with a few criticisms.

After a tutorial, the game starts with breakfast: bacon and eggs. The two hosts (Susie Fogelson and Mory Thomas) provide tips, background information on ingredients and recipes, and some culinary history. Our tester liked the details, like the fresher the egg, the higher the fried yolk will be on top of the white. He got to practice cooking with virtual knives (even though he isn’t old enough to use them when he is cooking for real).

Says our super tester:

You can’t always use the techniques that you learned at home. You have to use their techniques. For instance, usually I turn on the stove, let the pan get hot, put the oil in, and swirl it around. But in the game, you turn on the stove, put oil in the pan, and let it sit; then, when it is hot, you swirl it around. It teaches you a lot about how to do things right. But if you don’t get it right, it can be frustrating to keep doing the recipe over.

With 30 recipes, from Chinese to Italian, there is plenty to try. Our super tester liked the tuna steak with potatoes and green beans and mojo sauce. He especially liked learning that the mojo sauce originated in the Canary Islands. Other times, our super tester found chatter by the hosts “obnoxious.” Overall, he reported that he wanted to play the game over again and better his score — then go make the recipes himself for real. Even his eight-year-old sister (a professed non-cook) found the game fascinating.

The hosts get to eat the food, but the players don’t. So, make sure you have plenty on hand to eat after the fun: you’ll be hungry!

Press releases:
Namco Bandai
Scripps Networks

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