PC/Mac/Linux
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Game Info:

Overcooked
Developed by: Ghost Town Games Ltd.
Published by: Team17
Release Date: August 3, 2016
Available on: Windows, PS4, Xbox One
Genre: Party
Number of players: Up to four locally
ESRB Rating: Everyone
Price: $16.99
(Humble Store Link)

Thank you Team17 for sending us this game to review!

Onion Kingdom is being attacked by a very hungry spaghetti monster.  Unfortunately, your team doesn’t have the necessary coordination to appease its ferocious appetite.  As a result, the Onion king sends your party back to 1993 to hone your cooking and teamwork skills.   In the beginning the kitchens and recipes are manageable, but that changes before long!

Each level in the co-op campaign will give you between one and three stars depending on how many successful orders were completed within the time limit.  Unfulfilled orders subtract from the score.  Levels and new chefs become available as you earn stars throughout the game.  As your teamwork improves, be sure to go back and get three stars on all of the easier levels.  

At first you’ll be working with soups which involve chopping up and adding three of the same ingredient to the pot on the stove.  Every few seconds, a new order will be added to the queue.  You’ll have to coordinate with your team to chop up the correct items and add them to the boiling pot before it catches fire.  If it catches on fire, you’ll have to extinguish it and dispose of the ruined soup before starting a new batch.  Successfully completed soup has to be placed in a bowl and sent out on the conveyor belt to finish the order.  Most, but not all of the kitchens have a limited number of bowls/plates so the chefs will have to wash dirty dishes before being able to re-use them. 

Highlights:

Strong Points: Fun and challenging gameplay; cute visuals and pleasant background music
Weak Points: No online play; playing solo is difficult since you have to control multiple chefs
Moral Warnings: Playing this game may strain relationships since yelling is bound to happen; can cuss in-game but it shows up as symbols

 

Besides soup, other meals to prepare include hamburgers, fish and chips, burritos, and salads.  While the soups typically have three of the same ingredients, the other meals have various combinations.  Prepping ingredients ahead of time saves work, but some levels have rats that will come by and steal it off of the counter tops. 

As if rats and tricky orders were not enough to contend with, the kitchens themselves can be overwhelming at times too.  Some of the kitchens have narrow pathways that only allow one chef through at a time while others split apart and come back together due to earthquakes or moving vehicles.  One of the levels takes place on a pirate ship and the rough waters caused the counter tops to shuffle around with the roaring waves.  If you like Steam achievements, they are often earned after completing notorious levels.

Communication is key if you want to succeed in completing successful dishes in a short about of time.  Sadly, my kids didn’t appreciate my bossing them around in a louder than normal tone of voice.  While I didn’t cuss at them verbally, the Y button on my Xbox One controller showed my chef cussing using silly symbols.

Overcooked
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 86%
Gameplay - 17/20
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 8/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 100%
Violence - 10/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

Getting four controllers to work on my computer took some effort.  We hooked up one Xbox One controller, two Xbox 360 controllers, one wireless and the other hard wired.  Finally, we added the Steam controller which seemed to be the least favorite for this game.  Keyboard support is available as well but the gamepads work the best in my opinion.  

While playing cooperatively is fun, there is a verses mode where chefs compete against each other for the best score within the time limit.  When my daughter and I competed we each had to control one other chef by using the shoulder button to switch between them.  The single player mode plays the same but quite frankly, this game is designed for cooperative play so if you don’t have anyone nearby to play alongside, don’t bother picking up this game.  Sadly, there is no online multiplayer.

If you’re looking for a good couch co-op game that’s fun for the whole family, be sure to check out Overcooked. Just be warned that it may strain some relationships as voices are bound to be raised in the heat of the moment.  As the saying goes, “If you can’t take the heat, then stay out of the kitchen!”   

About the Author

Cheryl Gress

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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