Welcome everyone to year two of my Alphabet Game Review project! A game every two weeks was actually more taxing than I expected, so I’m making two changes for 2018. (Well, technically three, but I’ll get to the third at the end.) I’m reducing the pace to one review a month, and I’m also not conforming to alphabetical order now that I’ve made it all the way through. With all of that out of the way, let’s dive in to Overcooked!
Overcooked! is a chaotic couch co-op game based around filling orders in a variety of kitchens. Your cadre of chefs is tasked with creating meals of various types, from soup and burgers to pizza and burritos. Assorted sub tasks include chopping veggies for burgers or soup, washing dishes, and frying chopped potatoes for fish and chips.
The kitchen layouts also provide twists that complicate things. The above example has pedestrians crossing the street that can get in your way. The kitchen below is located directly on a fault line, and the boss insists they stay open despite the consistent earthquakes. Every few seconds, the right side raises and lowers, meaning you have to be mindful of the timing in order to not burn your burgers.
I’ve heard this game described as a great way to find out who the Gordon Ramsey is in your family or group of friends. Almost inevitably, one person in the group will take charge and order the rest of you around. I played in every configuration of players from one to four. In my opinion, the more the merrier. The earlier levels are much easier with more people, but it’s also more entertaining as you can occasionally get in each others way, causing some accidentally hilarious situations.
Single player is almost more of a puzzle game or RTS-lite, since you have to alternate controlling two chefs and managing their tasks simultaneously. If you’re only able to play single player, I’d still recommend playing Overcooked!, but it definitely shines brighter as a local multiplayer party game. Gather your friends and family and boss them around the virtual kitchen! Cleaning up the controllers will be much easier than pots and pans.
I promised a third change to the format this year, and here it is: reader input! I’ve come up with several options for a game to review in February, and I want to know what you (yes you!) think I should play. I’ve linked a poll below; vote if you like. I look forward to the results!