Back in the middle of July I put on my Chefs apron and took to the kitchens of Onion Kingdom to test my ninja like cooking skills. At the time it was only a preview build and didn’t show off all that it had to offer. Having now gained access to the final build of Overcooked! I have been able to slice and dice my way further in to the mad world that is Onion Kingdom. Not much has changed since the preview except for a few tweaks here and there fixing the issues surrounding the preview. If you are a couch “potato” co-op fan then Overcooked! is definitely worth a look at least.
Overcooked! Tells the story of Onion Kingdom which is about to being taking over by a Spaghetti Bolognaise creature with an incurable hunger. In fact when you play the career mode your first chef job is to try and sustain its hunger. This doesn’t happen and thus the Onion King takes you back in time to hone your chef skills and learn new recipes. It is here all the fun and games begin with plenty of kitchen fires a foot as well as rats steeling unattended ingredients.
The game mechanics in Overcooked! are simple yet the game has quite a challenge to the levels which can be played solo or co-op with up to four players. You take control of a chef and your job is to fulfil customers orders as they come in. The orders appear up on the top left hand of the screen, with a coloured line underneath indicating how long you have. But that’s easy I hear you cry, it would be if the kitchen planners hadn’t built them the way they did. The chopping boards, ingredient boxes and stoves are all strategically placed to make your chiefs job as frantic as possible.
In one chapter a kitchen is placed on a pirate ship where the tables slide about making it very challenging to get from chopping boards to the cookers. In another level the kitchen is situated on an iceberg and things get very slippery indeed. Overcooked! takes haunted kitchens to another whole level, with parts of the kitchen rearranging itself, or hows about cooking in the dark. One of my favourite though is the kitchen that consists of two moving trucks on a highway, with only a short window of time when they join together. It truly is level design like this that makes Overcooked full of so much fun and challenge.
There are a good few recipes on offer too although at first you will start off easy with soup. Master that and then you can move on to things like burgers, Pizza and fish and chips. So if you want tomato soup all you need to do is chop up say three tomatoes, or three onions for onion soup. When you make it to the stage of cooking pizza’s and burgers you will need to keep an eye on the toppings and side salad. As I found out, just don’t let the food catch fire as it spreads really fast if not dealt with, although it is fun to have a kitchen fully on fire. The controls are simple with A button to pick up stuff and the X Button does the chopping.
The game can be played solo or with up to four other players in local co-op. The recipe for multiplayer fun and mayhem would be perfect if it supported online play. However for those gamers that are fans of offline co-op this title does a great job. The game has only been designed by two people but they have shown there cookery skills to be top notch. If you play the game solo things do get difficult as you try and juggle two chefs and the games challenges. To progress through the levels you need to attain a specific number of stars. Each level will reward a maximum number of three starts. Three quarters of the game in and I am finding it difficult on my own to get the required number of stars. In co-op though things are easier, if you play with two player then you will both control two chefs each. Outside the campaign you have some versus kitchens that open up as you go through the campaign.
The Good Things
- Great Multiplayer title.
- Easy to pick up and play yet quite challenging on your own to master.
And The Bad
- Lacks online multiplayer.
- Overcooked! Is the dedication the two person studio Ghost Town Games cooking up the perfect mixture for an exemplary couch co-op experience. It even gives you the option to split-controller play. The added versus mode will test your coordination and multitasking skills also. It is clear that Overcooked! is best played with friends, although you can play solo. I have found though that things do get quite challenging near the end of the title to gain the stars needed to progress. It is just unfortunate that there is no support for online multiplayer. That been said there does still seem to be a demand for local co-op titles and Overcooked! is one you can certainly sink your teeth in to if that’s what your appetite desires. This is why it is more than deserving of it’s final score. While there is the option for solo play through the career it is best played with friends.
Overcooked! Serves up just the right recipe for an exemplary couch co-op experience.