A fun, chaotic adventure with four players, Overcooked is a welcome challenge for all wannabe chefs.
There haven't been a lot of games lately that embody your inner Master Chef (Australia, of course) and even less that delivered local co-op. Overcooked throws both these elements together into either a delicious potpourri or a disastrous crater of a meal as four players go along for the ride. It's a cooking game of sorts but one that tasks you and three friends with fulfilling orders and ensuring your customers go home happy. "Tougher than it sounds" couldn't be more apt in this case.
Overcooked isn't trying to bedazzle you with a story or hi-fi visuals. You and your team of chefs are tasked with preparing meals. These meals will often vary in the ingredients used, methods of preparation, the various stations each chef must use and whatnot. It's really that easy to understand.
However, when you get right down to it, Overcooked required coordination, teamwork and a healthy amount of communication bordering on screaming to get things done. Your tasked with collecting coins throughout levels which are earned by successfully preparing and delivering orders. Mess up an order and you'll lose time. Collect as many coins as possible within the time limit and earn up to three stars as a ranking for that level.
The game starts out relatively easy and hitting that one star ranking in most kitchens isn't too difficult. It eventually starts to ramp up and pushes your team to do better. The latter levels even go to an extreme and take place across 28 kitchens with crazy conditions such as a kitchen spanning two trucks or on a tilting pirate ship. At times, your equipment may cease to function. Some chefs may need to be switched out for others and everyone must be on the same page at all times.
Despite how crazy it all sounds, Overcooked can be a blast. When things go wrong - and they will go wrong - it can turn into a riotous mix of laughter and comedy. For the more serious players, the game presents an easy-to-learn but difficult-to-master style that will reward swift delivery and calm decision making on top of cooking. After all, that's how a lot of kitchens function. You'll never know what has to be done but thinking on your feet is the way to do it. It's a shame that Overcooked doesn't support online play. Solo players do have a campaign mode to run through which has you managing two chefs at once but it's a whole lot less frantic and fun than four player co-op .
Overcooked won't be for everyone but only in the sense that they won't always have four friends to play alongside with (especially on Steam). It's a great experience for PS4 and Xbox One players with an excellent amount of challenges and some fairly hilarious gameplay to run through. If you're seeking a new party game and don't mind straining your communication skills, Overcooked is worth a look.
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