Ghost Town Games and Team 17 have been hard at work in the gaming kitchen, preparing a meal with all the trimmings just for you. And they hope you’re hungry, because as far as co operative, multi-tasking games go, Overcooked sure smells delicious. It has all the ingredients to be a tasty PS4 feast, but is it cooked to perfection…or has it been Overcooked?
If attending the party solo (you can play with up to four players) you’ll still be controlling two chefs. You then have to prepare as many meals as you can in a set amount of time (usually a few minutes). If you make a meal successfully, you’ll get points and possibly a tip too, which will add to your score as well. Your overall score is then graded with a 3 star system, which are used to unlock later levels. Menu wise, things start pretty simple. At first you’ll be in a fairly basic kitchen, and making simple bowls of soup. So say for example you’re making Tomato Soup, you need to get 3 tomatoes and they need to be chopped up, and then put in the pot to heat them up. You then have to make sure the soup doesn’t get too hot, and serve into a bowl to be taken out to the customers. Sounds simple enough. The thing is the team at Ghost Town Games have come up with a laughably absurd amount of restrictions, obstructions and environmental hazards that make Overcooked nowhere near as easy as it seems. And this is where Overcooked really comes into its own.
As you progress through the game’s 28 levels, the environments change. As mentioned before, you’ll start in a kitchen. But then you’ll get promoted to making meals on a pirate ship (which rocks from side to side whilst you’re preparing), two seperate trucks on a motorway (you can fall onto the road while chopping a lettuce), a block of ice in the Arctic (you will slide about or fall into the water) and lots more. Furthermore, the meals get more complicated. You’ll be required to make fish and chips, burgers (which have four separate ingredients) and many more tasty treats amongst all the madness. Not only that, but if you keep a patron waiting too long for their order, it will be cancelled and you will be penalised. Oh and one more thing. You’ll also be contending against conveyor belts and little animals trying to steal your food. Yikes. But you know what they say – if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.
Overcooked is a game that seriously tests your nerve and your juggling multiple things at once skills. So why is it so fun? Well the scoring system is very fair for a start. Getting one star is fairly easy, only requiring you to get a couple of meals right. So when you get to later levels and you haven’t got enough stars to progress, you can go back and attempt to 3 star the earlier levels. It sounds like a pain, but it really isn’t. The game’s fairly short, and by that point you’ll be a multitasking wizard. Another strong attribute Overcooked has is that it’s ridiculous humour is hilarious. Trying to make fish and chips on an ice block in the Arctic and falling about all over the place is always funny. Why are you there?! Who on Earth would take such a job?! It doesn’t matter – it’s just brilliant fun. So in the end, it turns out Overcooked is cooked just right – and we highly recommend making a reservation.
Whether you’re playing it alone or with friends – Overcooked has something on the menu for everyone. Bon Appetit!
Punk rating: 8/10