Review: Overcooked (PS4)
Cooking is more than making a simple meal; to some, it’s an art form, a sense of comfort or even a fond memory. Not everyone may cook, but everyone does eat, and it’s always great to see a game that incorporates such a fundamental part of what we do in a game. Overcooked is a new game that makes sure you share your love of gaming and cooking.
On the surface, Overcooked looks like your traditional mobile cooking game, but it’s much deeper than that. I’ll be honest, I haven’t played many cooking games on the phone, but what I did play was easy enough to master. Usually, you just have to move ingredients to the right spot and make the meal as requested, but in this game, it’s so much more than that.
The opening scene of the game is a destroyed city trying to withstand the apocalypse. The cause of this destruction is a giant hungry beast (that looks like spaghetti and meatballs) looking for food. Your ultimate goal is to feed this beast. However, your talent as a chef is lacking, so the King of the Onion Kingdom sends you back in time to train all over the world and prepare for the Beast’s return.
The game itself is separated into many different levels, with each adding a new type of challenge to the traditional cooking game. Each level has three stars for you to achieve, which are needed to unlock later levels. Just like the mobile version, you’re expected to fetch an ingredient, chop it up, cook it and serve it. However, the first challenge is that you’re not doing it alone.
Cooking co-op style
The main idea of the game is to not cook alone, in fact, it’s WAY easier and more fun to play with a second person. You can, however, play solo if you wish but your co-ordination skills will be put to the test. When playing solo, you will have to control two chefs. You can choose to control them one at a time or simultaneously depending on which control scheme you prefer. The controls itself are rather simple allowing you to master your character’s movement early on. This is important as the later levels will require precise movements and perfect character co-ordination in order to achieve the level’s goal.
The more challenges, the merrier
Now, fetching, chopping, and cooking does not sound like a lot fun, but the way the levels are designed makes it terribly fun for everyone. Each level tasks you with cooking in a rather hazardous environment. One level will have you cooking in moving trucks, forcing you to wait for the truck to get closer in order to fetch ingredients or serve food. Another will take place in a restaurant that endures constant earthquakes. There are even levels where you cook on a pirate ship while the tables move around as the boat rocks.
The third challenge is why the game is called Overcooked. If your food burns, it’ll start a fire that sets your kitchen ablaze. You’ll have to stop what you’re doing, extinguish the fire, toss out the burnt food and start again.
It’s quite a challenge, and when playing with another person it can be rather fun. I played the game with my sister who isn’t very big on games. She got used to the controls about four levels in, proving its controls are simple. My 5-year-old niece even played the game, but struggled with the co-ordination, so I wouldn’t get this for a child unless you intend to play with them.
It’s a little overcooked
The game, overall, is very colourful and cute. The characters look like Russian Matryoshka dolls with their legless bodies. Some characters are rather funny and charming. There’s even a Raccoon chef that cooks in a wheelchair.
Despite the cuteness of the game, it is rather basic and doesn’t push any graphical boundaries. The music, while very fitting for the game, does become repetitive. The main issue that I have is the star system. Like I said before, you need to achieve stars to unlock later levels. Unfortunately, you’ll need to get the maximum of three stars on most levels. This doesn’t give you a lot of wiggle room, especially if you can’t play co-op or you’re really bad in certain stages. I did have to backtrack quite a bit and replay many levels until I got the score I required to get all three stars.
Other than the main game, you’re also given versus mode. Like the name implies, you’ll go head-to-head with other players. The downside is that this is local only – no online cook-offs for you.
I had a lot of fun playing Overcooked. It may not break any boundaries on a visual scale, but it certainly does test your co-ordination. It’s also a game that I can enjoy with my family, and even let my niece play when she gets bored (though she’ll probably just stay on the first level). I don’t think it’s a game for everyone, but if you’re looking for fun filler game for two (or more), then you may want to give this a shot.