Where there seemed to be some sort of genre limitation to the other games in the ‘Mama’ franchise, Crafting Mama looks to provide players with a tremendous amount of different activities under the heading of Crafting. Where players may not be a fan of cooking (and all it comes with it), Crafting Mama keeps things fresh through the inclusion of mini-games and skill testing approximating the creation of birdhouses, miniature Mama dolls, and quilts (among 40 or so others). As was the case with previous titles in this franchise, the audio and visual components far outstrip other games in its genre and price bracket. Crafting Mama has a vibrancy to the color palette used that will just make players’ eyes pop, while there are more than enough sound clips that doing something repeatedly (such as creating an apron) will not nag players.
The mini-games themselves enjoy similar differentiation. Where it seems like every other mini-game title does nothing but reskin a few different ideas, there has been care taken by developers to always ensure something different. This means that the steps needed to decorate flowers are different from those required to dip and render candles. By differentiating each of these mini-games, Crafting Mama dramatically increases the replay value that is present in the title.
With a holiday season rapidly encroaching, this title should be sought out as one of the best buys and as a worthy addition to the Mama franchise. Solid sales of this title will ensure further experimentation by this franchise, which is always a good thing. While I’ve usually been prone to keep casual titles out of my DS in lieu of storyline-driven ones, Crafting Mama has a certain allure to it that ensures that it keeps getting played at and around NeuFutur HQ.
Crafting Mama (Nintendo DS) / 2010 Majesco / http://www.majescoentertainment.com