Cooking Guide: Can't Decide What to Eat?

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Cooking Guide:
Can't Decide What to Eat?
Box art for the PAL version
Developer(s)indies zero
Nintendo NSD
Composer(s)Toshiyuki Sudo
Platform(s)Nintendo DS
  • EU: June 20, 2008
  • AU: July 3, 2008[1]
  • NA: November 24, 2008
  • JP: December 4, 2008

Cooking Guide: Can't Decide What to Eat?,[a] released in North America as Personal Trainer: Cooking, is a digital cookbook for the Nintendo DS. The game was released in 2008: the original, Japanese-language edition was released in Japan on December 4, in Europe in English on June 20,[2] in Australia on July 3,[1] and in North America on November 24.[3] Cooking Guide is part of both Nintendo's Touch! Generations brand and a cooking tutorial software series started from a Japan-only title, Shaberu! DS Oryōri Navi. In North America, it is also part of the Personal Trainer series.[4]


Cooking Guide is an "interactive cooking aid" that gives step by step instructions on how to cook from a range of 245 dishes.[5] The user is guided through the preparation and cooking process via audio narration and instructional video clips, and the user can use the Nintendo DS's voice recognition to proceed through each cooking step. Users can also choose recipes based on how many calories they have, or what ingredients the user currently has at hand, among other options. Cooking Guide also keeps in memory what dishes the player has already made. The application also allows users to take notes and compile a shopping list, and features functions such as a cooking timer and a quantity calculator.[5] As a bonus, the Game & Watch game Chef can also be played after the user unlocks it by using the timer during preparation of a recipe like in one of its predecessors Shaberu! DS Oryōri Navi.[6] They guide the users in either English, French, Italian, Japanese, German or Spanish.[7]


A special edition lime green DS Lite released in 2009 as a bundle with Personal Trainer Cooking.

Released in Japan in 2006, Cooking Guide was originally shown to the US during Nintendo's Media Briefing at the Hollywood Kodak Theatre at E3 2008.[8][9] It was later shown at the Nintendo US Press Conference Live Blog in San Francisco in October.[10] After selling 600,000 units total in North America and Europe during its first two days of sales,[11] the green-colored version of the DS lite was later released on May 3, 2009.


The game was generally well-received, receiving an 81% from Metacritic. Official Nintendo Magazine felt Cooking Guide's features makes it "actually better than your average recipe book" and praised both the ease of use of the software and the range of recipes it offers, but felt that the European retail price it was being sold at was too steep. They gave it 80%.[15] Pocketgamer felt that while practiced cooks will have little use for it, on the whole it was more useful than other Touch! Generations titles such as Brain Training.[16] IGN gave Personal Trainer: Cooking a 9/10, praising its accessibility, user interface and features such as the instructional audio narration.[14] It was awarded Best Use of Sound by IGN in their 2008 video game awards.[17]

Cooking Guide received an Excellence Prize for Entertainment at the 2006 Japan Media Arts Festival. Supermarket chain Asda has claimed that Cooking Guide has sold over 10,000 copies in the first hour of release alone, and has also positively affected the sales of products used in the application's recipes.[18] The North American version was the 13th best-selling game and third best-selling Nintendo DS game of December 2008 in the United States.[19]

Sequels and spin-offs[edit]

Cooking Guide was the first of five sequels to the Japan-only Shaberu! DS Oryōri Navi, with development split between Nintendo and Koei. Nintendo itself issued a Japan only sequel Kenkou Ouen Recipe 1000: DS Kondate Zenshuu (健康応援レシピ1000 DS献立全集, lit. "Health Boost Recipe 1000: DS Complete Menu") and the North America-only 2010 release America's Test Kitchen: Let's Get Cooking, based on the PBS program, America's Test Kitchen after Cook's Illustrated magazine helped the publisher to write the game.[20]

Koei's releases are both Japan only, with the company releasing Shaberu! DS Oryōri Navi: Marugoto Teikoku Hotel]しゃべる!DSお料理ナビ まるごと帝国ホテル (It Talks! DS Cooking Navigator: The Marugoto Empire Hotel) and Kantan! Tanoshii! Okashi Navi DS (かんたん!たのしい!お菓子ナビDS, Simple! Fun! Pastry Navigator DS).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Known in Japan as Sekai no Gohan: Shaberu! DS Oryōri Navi, (世界のごはん しゃべる!DSお料理ナビ, Meals of the World: Speak! DS Cooking Navigator)


  1. ^ a b Cooking Guide: Can't Decide What to East? Archived 2012-12-30 at Nintendo Australia
  2. ^ "Cooking Guide: Can't Decide What to Eat? Announced". Archived from the original on 2008-05-27. Retrieved 2008-05-31.
  3. ^ E3 2008 - Cooking Guide dated for North America Archived 2008-08-03 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Nintendo Launches Personal Trainer: Cooking For Nintendo DS
  5. ^ a b Cooking Guide: Can't Decide What to Eat? - fact sheet
  6. ^ Cooking Guide: Can't Decide What To Eat? for DS Cheats
  7. ^ "Side news and work Side UK". Retrieved 2008-12-09.
  8. ^ M. Thomas, Thomas (15 July 2008). "The popular cooking assistant non-game is getting an American localization". IGN. Retrieved 2011-08-05.
  9. ^ Harris, Craig (15 July 2008). "E3 2008: Cooking Guide: Can't Decide What to Eat? Hands-on". IGN. Retrieved 2011-08-05.
  10. ^ Casamassina, Matt (2 October 2008). "The press conference in San Francisco is on". IGN. Retrieved 2011-08-05.
  11. ^ Magrino, Tom. "Nintendo's money-minting handheld picks up apt new hue; packaged with Personal Trainer: Cooking, carrying case next month". GameSpot. Retrieved 2011-08-05.
  12. ^ "Personal Trainer: Cooking (ds: 2008): Reviews". Retrieved 2008-12-09.
  13. ^ Lyon, James. "DS Roundup Review - Page 1 - Eurogamer". Retrieved 2008-12-09.
  14. ^ a b Hatfield, Daemon (25 November 2008). "IGN: Personal Trainer: Cooking Review". Retrieved 2008-12-09.
  15. ^ "ONM: Cooking Guide: Can't Decide What To Eat? review". Archived from the original on 2008-08-01. Retrieved 2008-07-04.
  16. ^ Pocketgamer: Cooking Guide: Can't Decide What To Eat? review
  17. ^ "IGN DS: Best Use of Sound 2008". 2008-12-15. Archived from the original on 2008-12-19. Retrieved 2008-12-19.
  18. ^ Mums go DS mental at Asda
  19. ^ "Top 10 Games of December 2008, By Platform". 2009-01-18. Retrieved 2009-01-19.
  20. ^ America's Test Kitchen: Let's Get Cooking Nintendo of America, Inc.

External links[edit]