Overcooked is a manic game about cooking food against the clock, with support for up to 4 players local co-op. It features a campaign mode where you have to help save the Onion Kingdom, and versus mode where you can play head-to-head with your friends. So does Overcooked deliver the perfect meal in record time, or is it more like a late night kebab? Read on to find out..
In Overcooked you have to start off with playing the campaign, as the versus mode is locked until you unlock at least one versus level during the campaign. The first level introduces the story, and you are told how the Onion Kingdom is in danger and it can only be saved by the best cooks serving up food to the attacking beast. You then play a little bit, serving up a basic salad to the beast on the side of the building, before being told to jump in to a teleporter where you are whisked off back in time to start your journey to become the best cook in the Onion Kingdom.
This first level, as well as the following few serve as tutorials to get you used to the game. Now if you’re playing in single player you will have to control two chefs, and you can choose a controller layout to suit you by either controlling one chef at a time, and switching between them using the LB/RB buttons, or using a split controller layout, with which you control one chef with the left side of the pad and the other with the right side of the pad, and as far as I’m concerned you’re a genius if you can do the latter.
Overcooked definitely feels easier played with at least one other person as it was built for local couch co-op play. So you should definitely get someone to play along with you if possible. I played both Single player and two player co-op during my review play, and it made a huge difference in the score at the end of each level. Some of the levels I barely scraped through with one star, yet going back and playing with a second person, we managed to smash the three star requirements.
Speaking of the the level requirements it works fairly simply. You score points for serving up the food in order from left to right at the top of the screen, you gain extra ‘tip’ points for serving up the food quicker. Should you fail to serve up food in time you will be penalised and lose ten points from your overall score. Each level has a set score to earn for one, two and three stars. With the whole point being to get all three stars across all levels. As mentioned above, you unlock new levels to play in versus mode as you complete certain levels. You also unlock new chefs to use if you fancy a change of skin.
This sounds simple enough to start with, as I said earlier the first few levels ease you in to the game giving you just a few different meals to make. until about half way through the first set of levels, where you will find hazards start getting introduced. Now these will vary quite a lot from moving moving floors, sliding tables, slippery ice floors even having to move between different cooking vans as they are driving along and swerving near and away from each other to mention a few.
Bearing that in mind, then you also have to deal with the overall game timer, the food order timers and the cooking timers. It all start to get frantic, and before you know it you’ve forgotten about the food cooking timers, and you have a kitchen fire on your hands, which you have to extinguish before it gets out of hand and spreads through the kitchen. It seems strange that something that sounds so frustrating can be so much fun, but it is! Again though, I will say much better experienced when playing with at least one other person.
There is one thing I wish the game did feature and that would be an online mode, be it campaign or versus, there’s definitely a missed opportunity here. The controls in Overcooked are fairly straight forward to learn, with only a couple of buttons needed. Meaning anyone, young or old can get to grips with it. It has nice cutesy style visuals and a fitting audio track to boot. Don’t let the slow paced title music fool you though!