Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Nigella Express

Genre: Simulation
Formats: Xbox 360 (with Kinect)
Publisher: Ubisoft

Cover Image

Utilising some (probably not all) of the power of the Xbox 360 Kinect, Nigella Express is the title that Ubisoft are hoping will create 'a stir' amongst more culinary inclined gamers. Food goddess, Nigella Lawson, has never put her name to a game before (unlike fellow celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver, who had a forgettable foray in to the Nintendo DS world), but she will be hoping that a franchise can be built on this premise.

So, what is the premise? Well, it's pretty similar to the old DS favourite Cooking Mama. The player must complete a number of tasks, in an allotted amount of time, by mastering a number of bodily movements that correlate to certain cooking practices. These include: chopping, slicing, dicing, pouring and icing. Still awake?

Great Parsley chopping

This is Kinect, so extra points are awarded for more flamboyant movements (imagine Ainsley Harriott on acid) and the patented Nigella hair flick is also supported (don't overdo this as we found it caused a nasty system crash).

There are Single Player and Two Player 'Cook Off' options. 'Cook Off' reminded us of the TV programme, Ready, Steady Cook... quite good fun. There is also a sort of 'Campaign' mode where you must produce all of the recipes in the 'Nigella Express' book for them to be judged by a virtual Michelin inspector. This was quite difficult.

Graphically, the game is adequate and the on-screen movements work reasonably well with the Kinetic's motion tracking. Nigella is recreated in all her glory and children will like the 'dress up' option where they can change her clothes and hairstyle.

To sum up - thank goodness it wasn't a Jamie Oliver game.

VT Rating: 7/10