I’ve played a lot of games. Games about small characters facing insurmountable, unbeatable odds. Games where my actions and decisions decided the fate of one character or that of a whole world. Games where loss, devastation and death are constants but never, NEVER, has a game made me feel as stressed as Overcooked, a game with an Onion King and a dog named Kevin.
In a Pickle
Overcooked is, at its core, a simple game about cooking (duh), time management and coordination. You are a humble chef faced with the end of the world and it’s your job to satiate the hunger of “The Ever Peckish” a giant, flying, spaghetti monster. In order to do so, the Onion King sends you back in time to train so you may become the chef you need to be. That is where things get stressful. In your quest to become the Iron Chef of the Apocalypse, you’ll have to master recipes and teamwork, beat the clock and satisfy customers.
One for the Road
As you traverse the Onion Kingdom aboard your food truck, you’ll unlock new levels and eventually new worlds by collecting stars you earn based on your performance in previous levels. Each world has its own environment and level design, each set on testing your mettle in the kitchen.
Your biggest enemy isn’t wilty lettuce, it’s hazards like ice floes, incoming traffic and rocking pirate ships which become game changers in later levels and they seriously up the game’s stress level as well as fun factor. You also unlock new chefs and recipes as you go, including a raccoon in a wheelchair and a delicious looking burrito.
Overcooked’s basic controller scheme is simple and intuitive: joystick to move, X to interact with ingredients and tools around the kitchen, B to dash (conveniently left out of the game’s tutorial) and LB to switch between characters.
If you’re feeling confident you can activate the “two for one” controller scheme which lets you control both characters with one controller when playing single-player, but get ready to test your hand eye coordination and multitasking abilities.
Never Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen
Playing Overcooked solo is challenging, frustrating, hilarious and overall very enjoyable but it truly shines as the couch co-op game it’s designed to be, where the challenge, frustration and hilarity is split among friends. While it is not in the spirit of true couch co-op, I’ll admit that I’m a bit disappointed that the game does not support online play (at the moment).
Overcooked is the whole enchilada. It’s fun, fast paced and it features a downright delicious selection of food-based puns, a charming story and characters as well as clever level designs.
Overcooked is available now on XBOX One, PlayStation 4 and PC now for $13.99 (USD).
DISCLAIMER: Overcooked review copy provided by Team 17. The opinions expressed in the article above have not be affected by, dictated or edited in any way by Team 17. For more information please see Girls on Games’ Code of Journalistic Ethics.