Thank you Team17 for sending us this game and the Surf ‘n’ Turf DLC!
I enjoyed playing the first Overcooked with my kids; the problem is that they did not enjoy playing it with me. I got too into this game and would yell at my kids to do various tasks before the time ran out. I wasn’t being offensive with my yelling, but my kids didn’t appreciate me barking orders to them like “chop the onions!” or “wash the dishes!” It took some convincing, but I did get them to play the sequel with me and I dialed back my enthusiasm and we all had fun this time around.
If you’re not familiar with the first game, this series is a frantic cooking simulator where you have to quickly serve up dishes while coping with whacky kitchen configurations and obstacles. Many of the kitchens are divided with ingredients on one side and the means to prepare them on the other. It doesn’t take long for conveyor belts to make an appearance and they limit the flow of traffic significantly. In other levels, the kitchen separates and only comes together for brief moments so you have to time your movements accordingly and throw across the materials you need ahead of time.
If you’re playing solo (not recommended) you can toggle between the two chefs with the trigger buttons. I like how you can start a chef on a task like chopping and have the other chef work on other preparations or cleaning dirty dishes. Since time is limited, you’ll want to be utilizing both chefs as much as possible.
On each level you can earn up to three stars by successfully completing orders on time. If an order times out or is made incorrectly, valuable points will be deducted from your total. If certain objectives are met, hidden levels will be revealed on the map. As you earn more stars, more levels and recipes will be revealed and new chefs will unlock. If you’re not happy with the default selection, more chefs can be purchased via DLC.
The story in the sequel is rather silly as the Onion King accidentally raises up a bunch of previous dead slices of bread dubbed “The Unbread.” These zombie slices of bread have an insatiable appetite and you must feed them to keep the kingdom safe. In the Surf ‘n’ Turf DLC the Onion King is sent on a tropical vacation (exiled) for his actions and you must cook up some great recipes to raise his approval ratings and get him reinstated.
One of the biggest improvements from the original game is the addition of online multiplayer. You can create private matches or join public games. It didn’t take me too long to get a three chef match going. It’s also worth noting that there is no cross play between platforms so your mileage may vary on finding people to play with online. While the online multiplayer is fun, it’s hard to coordinate and cooperate without voice chat capabilities. I still prefer couch co-op the best. You can play cooperatively or competitively in versus matches.
The colorful visuals are very similar to the first game and are just as charming. The finished meals do look scrumptious so it’s probably best to not play this game on an empty stomach. Also like the first game, the voice acting is gibberish with subtitles. I like how they add a “bark” caption for whenever the king’s dog, Kevin, barks. Though the background music is pleasant, it’s not very memorable.
If you enjoyed the first Overcooked game, Overcooked! 2 is worth looking into. Ideally it’s best enjoyed with friends so make you have enough controllers handy. Online is also an option now, though giving orders (gently) is still more efficient. I look forward to playing this game more with my kids.