So I’m not good at cooking – the best thing I can make is a Spaghetti Bolognese, but to people like me: don’t worry, it gets better! We can come together and pretend we’re good at making soup, burger, pizzas and more in Overcooked! Ghost Town Games and Team17 Digital have brought us a brilliant co-op cooking game for one to four players where you have to work and train your way through years of different levels and stages, cooking and running a restaurant until you beat the Ever Peckish.
In Overcooked you can play alone or with your friends and enjoy hectic but insanely fun gameplay. In the game’s campaign, you’ll be set the task of preparing different types of dishes under a time limit and unless you and your friends are incredibly organised then expect there to be yelling. I played both on my own and with a friend, and have to say this game was definitely geared toward multiplayer. While it is fun to play alone, having to control two chefs instead of one, it’s not as fun as having to yell “I NEED A TOMATO!” or “NO THERE’S NO CHEESE ON THAT YET DON’T SERVE IT!” like you’re Gordon Ramsay in Kitchen Nightmares.
The levels in Overcooked are fantastically designed to create an intense working environment as well as impractical but fun. You can go from a tiny kitchen with absolutely no space to actually cooking in space or platforming across icebergs to get to the correct side of the kitchen and trying to find your way around a pitch black kitchen with only a slither of light to guide your way – all the while under the time constraints of a real kitchen, worrying that your food will burn and inevitably set fire to your entire kitchen.
This tremendously chaotic game is made even better with its fun and chirpy soundtrack and sound effects that bring even more life to the hectic gameplay that is Overcooked. Appropriate music accompanies each level type – light-hearted for the earlier classic restaurant levels, creepy and spooky for later forbidden forest restaurants, etc. Also, all of the levels come with the added bonus of the music getting faster and faster as the level progresses until your reaching the last few seconds of serving and it’s going so quick that it encourages you to do just about everything you can to get yet another burger served, even though both you and your friends know it’s not possible.
The graphics of Overcooked are pretty good. For the party game genre, they work and they’re nice to look at. They’re nothing particularly special but they are what they are – and what they are is pretty decent. A lot of creativity went into creating lots of characters and levels for the game, so I can’t fault the developers for it really. Characters ranged from normal looking smiley people to an angry old man who’s clearly spent too much of his time cooking judging by all the wrinkled on his forehead to the completely unsanitary animal characters – cats and a raccoon in a wheelchair, which shows that Disney’s Ratatouille was right in saying “anyone can cook.” Although, I can’t imagine customers would be lining up outside to visit your restaurants again after the complete lack of power and the unavoidable cat hairs that would end up in the soups.
Single-player was an interesting experience. While it’s nowhere near as fun as the multiplayer version of the game, it’s there for those of us who don’t have many friends or simply can’t stand working with other people which is something this game definitely needs. Your restaurant is manned by two chefs, both of which you control and have to switch between the two. It makes the game more difficult but the scores you need to complete the levels are reduced, making it slightly better. Unfortunately, if you’re not controlling one chef they just stop moving and wait around until you give them something else to do, so it’s more of a hindrance than anything.
The real question is: should you buy this game? Simple answer: Yes. This game is worth every penny, as long as you have friends to play with. It is possible to play by sharing one controller, but after playing Push Me Pull You, I swore never to play a co-operative game like that again, so that’s down to you to decide if you don’t have more than one. It’s a fun-filled game that can keep you amused for hours with the ever-changing levels and there’s no way to fault it.
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