What is Overcooked?
Overcooked is a four player, co-operative cooking game that's all about getting friends and family to squeeze on a sofa together, and take on a madcap cooking challenge. With orders coming in, and ingredients to prepare, you'll find yourself working against a time limit, your fellow chefs, and the kitchen itself, as all manner of crazy scenarios unfold, designed to make your cooking that much trickier.
How do you play Overcooked?
Designed to be played in multiplayer, Ovecooked is a game all about co-operation. Each kitchen contains a number of food preparation stations - some crates full of food, chopping boards, a hob, plates, and a serving hatch - and it's up to you to prepare the orders as they come in. Sounds easy enough - but the game has other ideas. You're not just preparing food in a normal kitchen - instead, you'll be cooking at sea, with waves sending your stations sweeping across the deck; having to feel your way around in the dark in a haunted house; and jumping between ice floes, fried fish and chips in your hand, as you attempt to serve some penguins their meal. It's about as bonkers as it sounds.
With so much to do, and only a short amount of time in which to do it (each order is timed), you'll need to work as a team to see things through, constantly communicating with your friends, and deciding who's doing what, where, and what order you need things in. With your fellow chefs often working against you almost as much as the kitchen does (many stages have bottleneck paths only wide enough for one chef), things can quickly get crazy!
How easy is Overcooked to pick up and play?
In terms of accessibility, Overcooked is pretty easy to get to grips with - although it does ramp up the difficulty very quickly. While the basics are easy enough, and the game only involves a few buttons (one button picks up the ingredients, another chops them), there's a heck of a lot of pressure on you from the off here, as everything you're doing is against the clock. With each order needing to be served up in a certain time (or else you lose points!), you'll have to get a really efficient production chain going with your friends, even while the game does its best to stop you. To make the game's most basic order, some soup, all you have to do is chop up three onions, lob them into a saucepan, and serve when it's ready - although every bit of this takes time. Chopping the onions takes time, cooking it takes time, and if you don't take it off the hob quickly enough, putting out the first takes time too.
While the game's been designed to be played in multiplayer, it does scale its difficulty to suit - playing on your own, you'll have much lower point goals you'll need to meet in order to earn each levels' three stars. That said, there are some real stinkers of levels in here, where you'll need to have your food production down to a T, and be either communicating perfectly with your friends, or spinning plates like a pro when playing on your own (the game gives you a second chef you can control, and switch between at any time). It's also worth noting that almost all the game's levels are locked off until you've earnt at least one star on the preceding level.
With nothing in the way of violence, sexual content, or bad language, there's nothing for parents to be concerned about here. While there is a button you can press that lets your chef "swear/curse", all you hear in game is your chef chuntering to himself, while symbols ("?!X") come out of his mouth.