Cooking Mama 4: Kitchen Magic
is basically a collection of mini-games. From the Main Menu, you have: Let's Cook, Let's Combine, Let's Help, Let's Play Together, Mama's Gallery, and Options. Not all of these options will have games available to play yet though, so you will need to start in Let's Cook to unlock more. In Let's Cook, you will start with the option of several recipes to choose from. For each recipe, you will have a different number of steps to prep and cook the food. Some of them only require one step, some have 8 or more. For each step, you will be given arrows that show you what you need to do. Most of them are pretty logical though. There are only so many ways to use a knife, after all. If you complete the task on time, you'll get a gold star. If you don't though, you will get a silver, bronze, or green star, depending on how badly you did. On some steps, you are able to earn bonus stars, if you complete them in half of the allotted time or less. These bonus stars unlock things in Mama's Gallery. For each recipe that you complete, you will unlock a new recipe. There are 60 recipes total and I can promise that it will take you quite a long time to unlock them all. It took me about 8 hours of gameplay just to unlock all the recipes.
Let's Combine lets you combine any of the recipes that you have unlocked with one of a selection of "original" recipes. Combining them will happen through different mini-games that you can earn stars for. Unfortunately, these stars won't unlock anything. Let's Help are mini-games that you will have to first unlock to play. They are short little games that involve a variety of tasks for you to help clean up the house, in a fun way. You will need to unlock the Let's Help games by doing well on your Cooking. Let's Play Together are DS Download play games and they are for playing multiplayer. You will also need to unlock them as well. I can't tell you how many there are total though as I've got to do a bit better on some of my recipes to finish unlocking them. Mama's Gallery lets you change Mama's outfits. There are quite a lot that you will have to unlock through excellent cooking. You can basically change the color of Mama's apron, clothing, pots, pans, and pretty much anything you see.