Overcooked is a chaotic couch co-op cooking game for one to four players on Xbox One,
PlayStation®4 and PC. Working as a team, you and your fellow chefs must prepare, cook
and serve up a variety of tasty orders before the baying customers storm out in a huff.
The Onion Kingdom is in danger from a giant meatball monster from outer space (I think). To save the kingdom you have to appease the monsters huge appetite. You ultimately fail and the Onion King sends you back through time so you can learn the culinary skills needed to satisfy the hunger of the meatball invader.
You are in control of the chefs as they strive to fill the different orders that come in, you have to fetch the ingredients, chop them where needed, put them in the pot/frying pan/deep fat fryer, plate the orders when cooked and finally deliver them to the customer. Sounds easy you say……well it’s not. Amongst the things you have to overcome in order to succeed are such delights as pots boiling over, kitchen fires, dirty dishes piling up and the ever present time limit.
To progress through the different levels you have to earn stars (1-3 per level), if you don’t have enough stars to open the next kitchen then I’m afraid you have to replay earlier kitchens until you do. Playing solo you will find it very hard to 3 star each level but that’s the time to enlist the help of your friends or family, force a controller into their hands and the game then becomes a different kettle of fish. If you are playing by yourself then you have to switch between the two chefs on the screen (by pressing a button) and manage what they are doing to make sure you meet the minimum requirements to pass the level.This does get confusing and I often just scraped through with 1 star.
The controls themselves are very easy to use, although there is an option to control two chefs simultaneously using one controller and this is blooming hard (I tried and failed).
The kitchens that you start in are fairly straightforward affairs but as you move further on then things start getting interesting. There is a kitchen set on a ship, at various times through this particular level the ship pitches and parts of the kitchen move which then blocks off the quick routes that you had before. There are also cannonballs which slow you down. Later kitchens also introduce thieving little rats who run off with your ingredients if you leave them unattended. More perils will probably await but I haven’t as yet experienced any (I need more stars)
In some of the later levels the kitchen is hit with an earthquake which causes half of it to rise up and become inaccessible, this is frustrating if you have food on the cooker and both of your chefs are on the lower level and unable to reach the pans to take them off the boil. This leads to kitchen fires which have to be dealt with before you can continue, this also ruins the order that you were preparing and all the time spent is wasted.
You navigate around the map in a little food van and at various points throughout the story you visit the Onion King and his dog in a cabin and he updates on your progress. I am nowhere near finished with the game and I need more stars to unlock the next few levels but with the help of my son that shouldn’t take long.
The cartoon style graphics are functional enough and the soundtrack is chirpy and upbeat ( I found myself humming it the other day) The level design is sometimes fiendish but always challenging.
Overcooked has limited appeal as a single player game but it’s not being promoted as such , I imagine it would be great fun with 4 people all working together and I hope to experience that myself in the near future.
This does lead me to question why there is no online co-op though. This game is screaming out for it and I for one would play more of it if it was possible to hook up with my friends online and I would imagine the demand for the game would significantly increase if this feature was available.
I can see how much fun Overcooked could be if played by more than myself and I give it a 7/10. Would have been 8 with online co-op.
Overcooked is available now.
Code kindly provided by developers.