The cute little Mama who won us over in the Kitchen is back, but this time she’s using her green thumb instead of her spatula. The makers of Cooking Mama have pulled it off again, Gardening Mama is fun for people of all ages. Using the Nintendo DS stylus as your “gardening” master tool you and Mama embark on a gardening adventure. From growing flowers to harvesting fruit and vegetables there are 37 different items to grow from start to finish in your gardens.
Each gardening adventure takes you through the life cycle of each flower, fruit and vegetable. Each item requires different instructions on how to grow, nurture and harvest your garden. Plant, water, fertilize, prune and eliminate pests are all part of the gardening fun.
The game starts off with planting two basic flowers, depending on how well you score you will be awarded either a bronze, silver or gold medal. Watch out if you receive a bronze medal as Mama will not be too happy and you will witness her fiery eyes! Don’t be scared though you have the option to practice your gardening skills before you actually record your final scores. As you successfully garden your various plants you will unlock more items in other gardens such as your fruit and vegetable gardens. There are a series of events that have to take place before the final product is ready to be judged. While the challenges with each item are often repetitive you will still be hooked on this game. One cool feature is the use of the microphone to blow the clouds away to make the sun come out. This will ensure the plants below them will continue to grow. At times you will feel a little pressure, if you do not tend to your garden in a timely manner your garden will wilt and die and you will have to start the process all over again.
Along the way you will be awarded presents. These presents include fashion items to dress up Mama with, furniture to decorate your gardens , and different types of fertilizer to help fertilize your garden.
Along with your flower, fruit and vegetable gardens you will also have a special garden for your “unusual” flowers, fruits and vegetables. I don’t want to give away to much so all I will say is look out for the giant strawberry…Remember: vegetables, fruits and flowers are going to go through their life cycles and will eventually wilt. You will have to re-garden that product and have the opportunity to record a higher score. Don’t be fooled and think that once you have completed growing that product you are finished with that product, that is not the case as the second time around you may unlock a “special” item for your “special” garden. These special items you have grown will go in your Treasure Chest. The treasure chest products will be available for you to share with your friends through the online play option.
One frustrating part of this game is the lack of instructions. I often found myself guessing on what exactly to do with my stylus next while trying to complete the task at hand. I guess that’s why Majesco put in the practice option! It’s obvious to me that this game was developed with Japanese voice actors. Several words like “butterfry” and “rovery” (lovely) only prove my prediction. Pretty funny!
Overall I would give this game a 7 out of 10. I have to admit I has hooked on this game but the repetitiveness and lack of instructions eventually made me lose interest. The game did give me some basic insight to real gardening which is why I was so hooked initially.