My husband and I are always on the lookout for great multiplayer games. Finding something that will satisfy us both is sometimes difficult due to differences in tastes and varying abilities. The game must be challenging, but not overly complex, have a fun factor and preferably offer a co-op option.
We found exactly what we were looking for in Overcooked. Not only is it a terrific multiplayer game, but one of the most addictive and exciting experiences we’ve had in a longtime.
You begin your journey meeting the Onion King and his dog, Kevin. The king explains that a meatball headed, spaghetti bodied beast is hungry and will destroy the kingdom if not properly fed. After failing to feed the beast with your first try, the king portals you to the past to give you time to hone your culinary skills. If you’re able to complete all of the tasks that lie before you, you’ll have a chance to try and satisfy the beast once again. This time, hopefully, satiating his hunger and preventing him from wreaking havoc on the land.
Kitchens (28 plus a boss fight)
The kitchen areas are all about timing and anticipating that next order, all the while trying to fight, work around, or avoid the distractions that are thrown your way. Don’t fall into the lava, burn the soup, or let that rat steal your ingredients, because it all costs you precious time. And, that’s something you don’t have a lot of with only four minutes to chop, cook, plate and send out as many orders as you possibly can.
Up to 3 stars can be achieved in each kitchen area. The amount of stars you receive is determined by the number of points you earn. Points are gained by serving orders and receiving tips. They’re subtracted when orders aren’t sent out in an accurate and timely manner.
There are 5 recipes you’ll learn in the game:
– Fish and Chips (fries)
Most of the time you’ll only be required to cook one type of food, but on occasion you’ll have to cook two.
In order to serve your food, you must have clean dishes. Always pay attention to how many you have available because in some areas you’ll have to add washing dishes to your list of responsibilities.
You start off with 4 characters and earn 10 more as you progress through the game. Most are male and female chefs, but my two favorites are the yellow cat and the paraplegic raccoon.
Although each chef has a unique appearance, none of them differs in skillset. This is a little bit disappointing as I was hoping to be able to strategize which chef to use in each kitchen based on his/ her abilities.
To say the levels are intense is an understatement. In fact, I’d liken it to being a contestant on Top Chef (without the judges). Every time you’re in a kitchen, you feel the pressure of the timer, the stress of distractions, and the intensity of either working with or against the people around you.
Music/ Sound Effects:
The music is one of the most surprising parts of the whole game. Not only is it extraordinarily good, but a crucial part of helping set the pace for the player in the kitchen.
Whether it’s a swashbuckling, Irish jig on a pirate ship, a light, up tempo orchestral piece in the arctic, or a robust, movie-esque sound on a space station (just to name a few), the music is definitely in tune with (and inspired by) its surroundings.
Single Player Campaign
The same kitchens exist in both the single player and co-op modes. If you’re planning to play through both campaigns, I’d suggest going solo first. Not only is it lonely to play on your own after enjoying the comradery of others but working in a kitchen that you’ve already beaten with your friends/family is a bit mundane.
Despite the negatives, there is some enjoyment to be had when going it alone. Singularly strategizing a plan of attack for each kitchen is addictively fun. Earning 3 stars without help gives you a great sense of accomplishment. Learning to maneuver two chefs at once is not only useful for playing in competitive mode but is one of the most exhilarating parts of the game.
As an added bonus, playing these 28 levels is great practice for anyone who’d like to beef up on their skills before competing against (or playing with) others.
There are two multiplayer modes available for 2-4 players; couch co-op and competitive.
Couch co-op is my absolute favorite way to play.
There’s nothing more satisfying than achieving a perfectly in unison kitchen run that produces 3 stars on the screen. There’s nothing funnier than fumbling around with teammates as your group tries to navigate a kitchen for the first time. (Seriously, my husband and I laughed so hard we were crying).
It doesn’t usually take long for a team to get acclimated to a new kitchen environment and find their cooperative groove. Depending on the degree of difficulty, some areas can be achieved in a few minutes while others may take up to an hour.
Efficiency of movement is crucial in co-op since it takes more points (orders/tips) to earn a star. If you struggle getting enough points in an area, it’s a good idea to examine everything you’re doing to try and find shortcuts which will save you time.
If you’re looking to put your skills to the test and see how you rank against others, then competitive mode is the name of the game. These levels are earned when you play through the campaign on single and/or co-op mode. You can team up in two’s if you have 4 players. Or, two players can maneuver 2 chefs each, in a head to head.
As you deal with the trials/ hazards in each kitchen, don’t forget to also keep an eye on your competitors because in some areas they can (if they choose to) really throw you off your game.
Overcooked is a hilarious, frustrating, good time that you can share with the ones you love.
GC Rating: 9.0
Who is this game for?
- Gamers looking for something to play with family/ friends.
- A gamer wanting something to play with the non-gamer in his/her life.
- Casual gamers wanting to play something fun and challenging in short spurts as they have time.
- Hardcore gamers who don’t have a lot of time or want a break from their usual fare.
How to Purchase?
The Overcooked! Gourmet edition includes The Lost Morsel DLC.
Overcooked! Festive Seasoning DLC is a free download.
Overall, this is a tough game to find in-store. The only place I’ve seen carrying copies recently is GameStop. If you’re looking for a physical copy (and can’t find it in a brick and mortar store), the following retailers currently have it available on-line:
- Best Buy
Digital Download (Nintendo Switch, PS4, XB1, PC)
Overcooked! Gourmet Edition bundles are available for $19-20 on Steam as well as the Microsoft & PlayStation stores.
Overcooked! Special Edition is available (as of 7/27) on the Nintendo eShop for $19.99.
Developer: Ghost Town Games Publisher: Team 17 Digital Ltd. Genre: Simulation ESRB: E # of Players: 1-4