Game Title: Overcooked
Genre: Singleplayer/Multiplayer puzzle cooking chaos game...it's hard to summarize.
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Why You Should Get It
People always drone on and on about the "death of couch co-op" and how they wish it would make a comeback. Overcooked is that game that will make you remember all the things you love and hate about relying on the people next to you to get the job done!
In this level based adventure, you begin the game trying to feed a giant spaghetti monster enough food so that he will not destroy the Onion Kingdom. Unfortunately, your cooking skills are trash and the Onion King sends you back in time to 1993 to polish your cooking skills long before the beast rears his pasta head...
This is easier said than done as orders pile up fast and timers expire on customers who wait too long and dock you points. Also, you often are working in a less than ideal kitchen. So far I've seen kitchens that have earthquakes separate the center of the map temporarily, tables that divide each player so they must pass ingredients to one another, and rats that steal the food you've prepared for themselves.
I can't say enough about how I love the style of this game. The art is simple but endearing, the music is upbeat amidst the chaos, and I want a shirt with the Onion King on it!
If you watch both videos, you'll see why Co-op is the preferred method in playing this game. If you choose to play single player (which is supposedly possible according to our own Derek), you can customize your controls to have the left side of your controller function as one chef, and the right the other. I tried it and it would definitely take A LOT of practice to make that work!
The alternative and much easier method is to call upon a friend to help you. Up to 4 players (local only) can help you on a level and help you prepare meals for a variety of restaurants each with unique situations.
While having others to help does alleviate the stress of taking on things all on your own, it comes with its own unique set of challenges. Communication is key if you want to pass these levels. You'll have a lot of scenarios where only one player will have access to the stove, so the other player will have to chop and prepare the food, and then pass it over to the other character to get it cooked. Even if you get everything right, like most kitchens, things will go wrong! There were plenty of times where we'd both get wrapped up on one thing we would accidentally send out a dish wrong, or neglect to check the stove and it would catch on fire and burn half the place up...it's madness.
To its credit, it's as frustrating as it is fun. Typically if we failed to complete a level, we would discuss how to better beat it and typically get it done the second time around. This isn't a game that will start friendship ending arguments as oftentimes you're just as much at fault for what went wrong as they are.
If there's one disclaimer I could give towards this experience, this is a co-op game for gamers. If you try to play this game with a young child or someone who isn't used to playing video games, you're going to have a bad time. For two gaming veterans who like a challenge and working together (or competitively as there is a versus mode)...this is a perfect marriage and well worth the price of purchase for replay value alone. You won't 3 star run your way through this without a lot of practice.
This is a game for lovers of couch co-op and challenging games. You'll laugh, cry and bicker as you try to cook your way towards saving the world.