Monday, October 04, 2010

Video game number two hundred and ninety: Science Papa

Video game review number two hundred and ninety in my 365 Games in 365 Days project is "Science Papa".

I liked Cooking Mama on the Nintendo DS. Later, I tried (and I hated) the version on the Wii. I felt like the Wii version didn't feel as much like real cooking as some of the other cooking games I have played during this challenge.

Science Papa is the same sort of game, except this time around, you're not making're putting together science experiments. I thought this would be kind of interesting, because you might be doing something more interesting than stirring noodles and turning up the burners on your stove while making pancakes.

Unfortunately, it's the exact same game, with different ingredients.

The first thing "Science Papa" has you do is concoct some bleach and some soap to clean up his lab. You mix things like salt water and cultures before putting them into the oven and cooking them up. When making soap, one of the things you do is clean off the burned spots after it comes out of the oven. I never quite figured out how to do this fast enough to get the perfect score.

You have to play these mini-games over and over again, until you get near perfect scores...and only once you've done that can you move on. It took me nearly an hour to get 90% or above making the stupid soaps and cultures before I could get a new experiment to make (hair dye).

I am fairly sure this game will be fun for someone out there...but I'm not sure what kind of person that is. Perhaps they're targeting someone who really loved Cooking Mama and also loves science? Or perhaps someone who really hates food but loves the controls from Cooking Mama?

I honestly couldn't tell you what the appeal of this game was if you asked me. It's not educational (they don't actually give you the measurements to make any of the stuff for real that you're pretending to make in the game). It's not "fun", it's more like work (swapping between stirring mixtures in beakers and cooking things in the oven is nothing but a time management game). There's some humor in it, but the jokes are recycled over and over again. As I mentioned above, it's repetitive...and you'll be running the same experiments over and over again before you perfect them and move on.

So yeah...somewhere out there, I'm sure someone might like's just not for me.

Overall Score? 3/10. This game seems like a cheap grab for more cash from people who enjoyed Cooking Mama games. On paper...I'm not sure it appeals to anyone else ("Hey kids, want to pretend you're a scientist and follow fake recipes to make soap over and over again?") it's gotta be for those folks who have already played and enjoyed a cooking game before.

Final verdict? Stay away. Far away.

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