Review: Overcooked – All You Can Eat
I’m going to go on record now and say Overcooked is absolutely evil! I have a theory that the devil cooked up this game (pun very much intended) to torment the world of gamers. Forget games like Demon’s Souls or Cuphead, because Overcooked will test your patience to the limit. I’d go as far and say it will beat you to your knees and will leave you shouting at your playing partner as you scream for mercy. In fact, I would probably recommend you don’t play with your significant other if your relationship is a little bit shaky, as it could push you over the edge resulting with divorce papers in the post.
That being said, Overcooked can also be incredibly fun, and I say all of the above with my tongue firmly placed in my cheek, but there is an element of truth to it.
Now I’ve got that out of the way, let me tell you about the game itself. Like the best games, Overcooked is easy to pick up, but incredibly hard to master. Overcooked can be played by up to four people where cooperation is the key to success. You are a chef and preparing meals for customers is your business. An aerial view lets you look down at the kitchen which is split into different tiles. In the kitchen there are the usual things you would expect including a sink to wash up, chopping boards, pots and pans to cook, a bin, serving hatch and fire extinguisher. As soon as you start a level the orders come thick and fast, and the clock is ticking to get the order prepared, cooked and served as fast as possible. Get the order out in time and you get a tip which builds up your score. Send out the wrong order or fail to do it in time and you lose points. The points add up to your overall score where you are given a star rating at the end of the level. Getting the highest score possible is essential to progressing as you need stars to unlock new levels.
The game starts off where you must prepare and cook soup. Simple! You get the tomato, onion or mushroom, chop three up, put them in the pot and serve them. Easy! More food menus are introduced as you progress including burgers, sushi and pizza. Each menu gets progressively more difficult and requires additional preparation time. You also have to wash up dirty plates which adds even more stress to an already stressful situation.
The thing that makes Overcooked a source of frustration are the levels themselves. Each one poses its own set of challenges for example; you and your partner can be on trucks where the ingredients and cooker are constantly moving. Or you are on a pirate ship where everything is changing places due to the choppy sea. This is where panic will set in, and there is nothing worse than your frying pan catch fire and you watch powerlessly because you can’t reach it and the whole kitchen burns to the ground. Despite the cutesy look, Overcooked is hard as nails and requires a great amount of patience if you are going to get through each level. Luckily, there is an assist mode which means the order timer isn’t active, so you can take your time getting out the orders. I played through the game with my daughters. My eight-year-old can manage playing in classic mode, whereas my four-year-old copes better with the assist mode. My four-year-old thought it would be funny to chase me around with the fire extinguisher, or tease me with fetching an ingredient and then putting it in the bin before I could get to it. She thought it was hilarious. You can imagine how funny I found it!
Overcooked – All You Can Eat is a bumper package and features Overcooked 1 & 2 and all the DLC which is called Extra Trimmings. There are over 200 levels to keep you entertained. The main difference between OC1 & OC2 is the ability to throw items around which can be helpful. There are more elaborate recipes available in the DLC. Everything is shinier than ever before and now presented in 4K. Plus it benefits from fast loading times of the new consoles.
I’ve played a lot of Overcooked over the past few weeks and have now completed both main games and most of the DLC. Playing with my kids was great and the new assist mode is a godsend. My overall thoughts are Overcooked is a really fun game, but it can be very frustrating and some of the levels seem a little unfair. However, it is also the definitive party game which is best enjoyed with a friend in person or online.
Overcooked – All You Can Eat is available now.
Review by Chris.