Take on the role of chefs in a kitchen, preparing meals via preparation of ingredients, cooking, serving, and cleaning up all while under a time limit to complete as many dishes as possible.
Developer: Ghost Town Games
Publisher: Team17 Digital
Platform: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One (PC reviewed)
Rating: E for Everyone
Release Date: August 3, 2016
Price: £12.99 | $16.99 | €15.99
Links: Steam | PlayStation Store | Xbox Store | Official website
Made by just two folks over at Ghost Town Games, Overcooked is somewhat a culinary delight. The player takes on the role as a chef and has to prepare any given meal that is requested where they will go through the whole process of preparation, cooking, serving and even the cleaning of dishes afterwards!
Tipped to be the next best thing in the ‘couch co-op experience’, it is a simplistic idea on paper that has been mastered. While the game is very easy to pick up and play, it can bring out the best and worst of us all while playing it. To begin with, everyone may be best friends, laughing and joking around. Suddenly, dropped ingredients here, dirty dishes there and before you know it you have a sink full of dirty dishes, ingredients everywhere, something on fire and most likely someone sobbing in the corner. I guarantee by the end of it all you and your so called ‘friends’ are Enemies and if not, you have at least argued.
If you strip everything away, the game itself is a simplistic assembly game at the core. Each level you are given; A Recipe, Orders and a Time Limit. The rest is up to you, you have to complete as many of them as possible without destroying your friendship/kitchen in the process. You get the appropriate ingredients, chop them up, cook them, and then serve the finished dish on a plate to hungry diners.
The controls of this game couldn’t be much simpler, there is only 2 interaction buttons and the movement buttons. The first button is primarily used for picking up ingredients/items so that you can transport them around the kitchen but this same button is also used to skip through the dialogue when talking to any characters while the second button that is used a lot is the button used for chopping up ingredients. Simple concept and simple controls, but surprisingly complex and tricky to master to its full potential.
The game does start off very simple and easy however that quickly changes as the recipes start getting a lot more complex as well as the levels get tricky to navigate. One level can put you in a normal chef environment where as you could easily be put on top of a pirate ship.
The game tries to follow that of a storyline however I found myself deviating away from it, only to not bother thinking about it. I ran around doing the missions forgetting there was even a story in the back. As far as I can remember the main concept of the story is that the country/games setting has been invaded by an evil meatball and the only way to defeat him is to feed him to death.
The graphics are a delight, they aren’t photorealistic like you would find in high end AAA titles but they are more arcady/cartoony in fashion and this goes perfectly with the game. Throughout the game, there are cutscenes however they aren’t intensive of any kind as I had solid frame rates throughout the whole time and not once did it drop. One of the main things lacking I found was the lack of voice interaction between characters, not only in-game but also in cutscenes. Most situations where ‘voices’ are used are where the player is listening to murmurs however if murmurs/responses from the players were involved it would greatly improve the game. All other audio such as the music and sound effects work like a charm although like mentioned before, voices need to be implemented somewhere. Even if it is just murmurs like the old nintendo games….