For quite some time I’ve been waiting for a decent couch co-op game to arrive on consoles, what with many games now electing to only include online modes. However, Overcooked might just be that game, as it features an offline co-op mode based around the idea of cooking food dishes against the clock.
Overcooked requires coordination and good team work if you intend on playing this in co-op with up to 4 players. It does however, feature a solo mode, although the game does feel better suited with a friend. Especially when you consider that you can only control one chef at a team, so having a buddy chop some onions, while you wash the dishes is a great use of time to beat the clock. The whole premise of the game is that you have to reach a certain score before the time runs out. Failing to do so will require you to restart the particular level again. For such a simplistic game, it’s very fulfilling in terms of entertainment.
Not only will be you be shouting commands at your cooking partner, but you’ll also both find a system that works. Maybe one of you will do everything in one section of the kitchen area, whilst your buddy maintains the other side. I have to say the best system that worked, was sticking to each side, so if the onions or tomatoes were on your side, you would carry them across to the chopping board on your friend’s side to speed things up.
The art style adopted by the game has a cartoon feel to it and much of that is shown through the game’s cut-scenes which have a bit of humour thrown in. The game also offers a fair level of difficulty, so don’t take this as a game for the kids, as levels pick up the pace and add more difficult recipes to cook up later on.
I also liked the variety of kitchen locations, as sometimes you’ll be cooking up dishes in a gourmet restaurant, whereas there’s also a level where you’re on a ship. My favourite level though has to be the one with the two trucks, as your cooks aren’t bunched together in the same work space, you actually have to pass ingredients and plates across to get each meal completed. You know when you progress to the next level you’re going to be met with a new challenge, which was a refreshing experience.
Interestingly, a lot of the game is actually based on the real world experience of kitchens. Developers Ghost Town Games recently wrote a blog post about how it compares to real life kitchens, which is quite an interesting read if you want to know more about the elements in the game and how they relate. The pace against the clock certainly makes you feel like you’re working in a professional restaurant, with customers becoming disgruntled the longer you take.
Co-ordinating your tasks is also a key element to the game, with a variety of tasks involved in cooking a meal. First you need ingredients, then you need to prepare them usually by chopping them up, then you need to put them into a cooking pot or frying pan, before serving them up onto the plate. Don’t forget to clean the dirty dishes as well!
Overall, I would definitely recommend Overcooked for those ancient couch co-op players out there. Although, to be honest I don’t know many people that don’t like playing games with their friends or partners. The theme around cooking meals is always a popular one and this is a game that does it particularly well.
- The levels always present new challenges
- Fun to play with friends
- Nice to play something different on the store
- Not everyone has another controller, so online co-op needed as an option