Taito has recently released a version of its casual cooking action game, Cooking Mama [App Store], for the iPhone and iPod touch. Cooking Mama has been popular on the Nintendo DS and Palm OS platforms, having sold around 3 million copies worldwide for those devices since its 2006 debut. Sequels have appeared on the Wii.
IGN took a look at the DS version of the game and found it to be enjoyable for the casual gamer.
The game is nothing more than a set of casually laid-out challenges where each "level" is a certain meal. It can be as simple as making instant ramen to something more involved like pork curry and rice. Each step in the recipe has been paired down into a touch-screen mini-game. Most are retardedly simple: slicing an onion on the lines, or quickly chopping chives, or shredding some garlic. The complex tasks are the ones you have to watch out for: cutting tough meats, weighing specific ingredients, sauteing diced vegetables, or performing specific tasks in "rhythm." Even though most of the game is a simple matter of paying attention and following the instructions, the tougher techniques can turn a gold metal meal into a bronze medal yuckfest.
The big question: is any of this fun? Though the entirety of this game is simply doing what you're told as quickly as possible, it's actually an amusing game if you're not expecting much out of it. More importantly, though, it's been well-designed as a portable game, as the developers have given it a good "pick up and play" presentation: turn on the system, make a dish, get your rank, turn it off.
Forum member 'sushibox' posted a detailed review of the iPhone version. He found the game very much to his liking. Have a look.
See this (Japanese) trailer for the DS version to get an overall feel for the game.
Casual gamers looking for a unique title with pick-up appeal may want to have a look.
App Store Link: Cooking Mama, $6.99