G.U.E.S.T. Avatar Posted on 4/19/2010 by G.U.E.S.T.
Games
Reviews
Nintendo's follow-up to their best-selling cooking application has more recipes and a new emphasis on letting the whole family join the fun.

America’s Test Kitchen: Let's Get Cooking offers a more comprehensive experience than the original Personal Trainer Cooking release, with more recipes, features, and even new new emphasis on group cooking, and it isn't difficult to imagine some great family time thanks to this software. While some fans of the original title may be disappointed in the lack of new international dishes to choose from here, the multitude of delicious American dishes - along with some notable exceptions - and considerably larger selection of new recipes more than make up for the lack of international options. An absolute purchase for anyone looking to expand their cooking knowledge, or share it with others.
Release: March 28, 2010
Rating: E
Publisher: Nintendo
Written by Jason Bennett (guest editor)

America’s Test Kitchen: Let's Get Cooking is not a really videogame, but more an interactive, multimedia cookbook ready to walk you and your family through more than 300 recipes. Based off Nintendo’s Personal Trainer series, ATK is branded after the popular public television cooking program of the same name, and recipes featured are similar to those one might find on the program. While the original title was strictly a solo affair, this new edition emphasizes the whole family to pitch in and help craft delicious dishes. You can create a profile for each member of your family, and will assign each helper an age-appropriate task to perform for an excellent educational and bonding family activity.

I took my Nintendo DS into the kitchen, flipped it on, and began searching through recipes to make a little something for lunch. One of the great features of this piece of software is the ability to search its bank of recipes by what you have on hand in the kitchen. For those with allergies or dietary restrictions, there is also an option to filter recipes out by food, too. Since I had a pound of ground hamburger in the fridge, I did a quick search and came up with a tasty-looking recipe for sloppy Joes, or “Untidy Josephs” as my late grandfather used to call them,

With my planned recipe in tow (or in this case, hands) the game presented me with some basic information about the meal. Prep and cook time was estimated at 30 minutes, and it would make four servings at 400 calories per serving. Next I was presented with a list of not just all required ingredients, but also required utensils, and then an overview of the steps required for making the loose-meat sandwiches. America’s Test Kitchen features a handy “shopping list” option as well, to which you can add ingredients to buy on the next trip to the grocery store.

After verifying I had all the necessary ingredients, I began following the step-by-step instructions as I chopped onions, heated a pan with oil, minced garlic, and then began sautéing the onions over medium-high heat. The title also comes packaged with helpful tutorial videos to assist any inexperienced cooks with preparation and other useful basic information. For example, one video tutorial in my recipe showed the proper way to heat a pan for sautéing. This might sound routine, but for someone who needs the assistance, it could be an invaluable tool.

Cooking can be a messy experience where one really gets their hands dirty, so the DS offers a useful voice-activated navigation system while cooking. While actual commands are limited to simple words and phrases like "Continue" or "Go Back", it did respond well enough to my voice as I cooked, but occasionally picked up every noise it heard in the kitchen. Although I was unable to test the new hardware in time for this review, colleagues tell me the improved audio capabilities of the larger-screened Nintendo DSi XL would likely help alleviate much of the outside noise issues.

II continued on through the recipe, adding chili powder, browning the hamburger, adding tomato puree, water, ketchup, salt and pepper. By this time smell of sautéed onions and garlic had attracted the attention of family members, and after just 26 minutes from start to finish, we sat down together to enjoy some very delicious Untidy Josephs.

America’s Test Kitchen: Let's Get Cooking offers a more comprehensive experience than the original Personal Trainer Cooking release, with more recipes, features, and even new new emphasis on group cooking, and it isn't difficult to imagine some great family time thanks to this software. While some fans of the original title may be disappointed in the lack of new international dishes to choose from here, the multitude of delicious American dishes - along with some notable exceptions - and considerably larger selection of new recipes more than make up for the lack of international options. An absolute purchase for anyone looking to expand their cooking knowledge, or share it with others.







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