Kombo’s Review Policy: Our reviews are written for you. Our goal is to write honest, to-the-point reviews that don’t waste your time. This is why we’ve split our reviews into four sections: What the Game’s About, What’s Hot, What’s Not and Final Word, so that you can easily find the information you want from our reviews.
What the Game’s About
Gardening Mama might sound familiar because we are all familiar with Cooking Mama. Think of Gardening Mama as the step before Mama gets in the kitchen to cook a delicious meal. This time around, you trade your apron for boots and your mixing spoon for a shovel as you pretty up the outside of Mama’s house with flowers, fruits and veggies. Tilling the earth and watering the plants is all accomplished through a series of touchpad mini-games.
It’s nice to see Mama diversify her talents. Cooking was getting a little bit overdone so it is good to get out in the virtual fresh air and sunshine. There are many things to do in Mama’s garden and lots of different tasks to juggle. Going through the steps to plant flowers and watch them grow is strangely captivating.
Gardening Mama is the quintessential DS game. There are quirky and odd tasks you must do and they are insanely short so you can put it down. Gardening Mama isn’t a game divided by battle line between core and casual gamers but a game that is approachable from all sides. The kitschy and intentionally goofy localization makes the game digestible even with all the cutesy graphics.
Real life gardeners might already know this but the act of gardening is very repetitive. There are not too many ways to plant flowers, and Gardening Mama follows suit by not offering too many ways to plant flowers. Watering is the same idea. Making big deals out of pressing the touchpad without too much action or worry doesn’t pave the way for captivating gameplay.
As you branch out into other parts of the garden, there will be some obstacles. Wilting flowers are a pain to deal with. It seems each time you finish up one task, you need to tend to another flower before it dies. The problem increases as more flowers become available for you to cultivate and grow.
Gardening Mama and Cooking Mama might as well be the same game. The change of setting is nice but that alone doesn’t differentiate it enough from past Mama games to make Gardening Mama feel completely home grown and fresh. An attempt was made to change some things around but the underlying formula stays closely intact. There is some merit to Gardening Mama, just make sure to check any expectations at the door.