The Cambridge Geek

Overcooked 2

The Girl and I have been hunting for a new couch co-op to play, and we found something rather amazing in Overcooked 2.

Now I've not actually played the first one, but I suspect there's not much backstory I'm missing, so I didn't feel too bad about it. It's rather more of an arcade style affair than a plot heavy RPG.

The aim of the game is to prep, cook and serve a variety of meals in kitchen environments that could be described as "challenging". You might be cooking in a hot air balloon, the middle of a street, Hogwarts, floating on a raft down a river, or occasionally an alien planet.

Zombies! This is no time for loafing about.

Luckily you're going to be cooking relatively normal food, though it all requires precision and skill to assemble. You need to serve precisely what people want, as indicated by recipes in the top left of the screen. These can contain anywhere between 1 and 4 ingredients, and they may need to be chopped, fried, boiled, steamed or mixed. Then you need to put it on a plate and serve it to customers before they get bored and leave. And then do the washing up.

So far, so simple.

The real difficulty comes in because of the way the kitchens are set up. They are separated into different regions, and foodstocks, cooking implements, washing up areas and serving hatches are all in separate ones. This means that you need to carefully communicate with a companion in order to put together complex orders from multiple disparate actions.

You're going to spend a lot of time shouting at each other.

(This can be fun.)

Each level (of which there are 36, with a few secret ones), requires you to develop the right system for it. This might be one of you chopping steak and cheese and doing the washing up, while the other fries burgers and assembles buns. You're almost certainly going to fail the first couple of times you attempt each level, as the separation of labour takes a bit of working out.

It gets even worse when they introduce different movement mechanisms. There's conveyor belts, floating platforms and portals, of all things. Falling off any of these gives you a time penalty, and if you're going for a high score it's almost always worth just hitting a frustration restart and having another crack at it. The reset button is definitely your friend in this.

This happens a lot.

Which is handy, because your friends might not be your friends after it.

You'll both need to learn to jump when you're shouted at, otherwise you end up in an impressively chaotic spiral of things going wrong. Once you stop being a well-oiled machine, it's all going to fall down around your ears.

I'm not sure how we managed to start a fire with salad.

It does technically have a single-player mode, but I can't really give a proper opinion on that, my only experience with it being watching the Girl failing miserably for ten minutes. You apparently have to control two chefs at the same time, bouncing back and forth between them. It looks tricky.

Not sure how much replay value the game has yet, having completed the story mode. There is an arcade mode, but we'll see how long that grabs us for. Completed story in about 10 hours, I would guess. Very enjoyable 10 hours though.

Score 5

Tagged: Game Puzzle 3D Average difficulty PC Local multiplayer