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The Funniest Game of 2016 – Overcooked

It’s always great to find a 2 player game you can play with your buddy, squished up on a couch. My Dad and I have been playing Worms Battlegrounds on a regular basis for coming on 2 years, so this Christmas I decided to buy him (myself) a new Team 17 gem to play over the holiday season.

Overcooked is a real-time puzzle game where you and your friends must prepare meals in more and more pricarious kitchen environments. I first saw Overcooked played by a bunch of YouTubers. It was a little confusing to keep up with, especially with 4 similar looking players wandering around the levels, getting in each other’s way. Their reactions were hilarious though, especially when communication breakdowns ended in catastrophe.

The theory is so very simple. Cook ingredients, plate up and serve meals to receive money. However there are so many intricate steps hidden within that system, and when one is neglected the kitchen quickly falls into chaos. The controls are a piece of cake: left analogue stick to move, ‘A’ to pick up/put down items, ‘X’ to interact. Somehow these controls still seem to elude my Dad and I; we are constantly putting items in the wrong place, or accidentally picking up the fire extinguisher instead of the onion soup. It’s in moments like these that Overcooked is frustrating, but when one person gets frustrated or flustered, it’s just that much more hilarious for the other(s).

The sense of team cooperation and strategy along with the fun, frantic soundtrack, which gets faster as the level progresses, makes Overcooked appropriate for hardcore gamers as well as kids and casual gamers. The difficulty curve is a little steep, but the star system means levels are easy to complete but hard to master. The visuals and the wacky level design are so damn charming. Cooking fish and chips on an iceberg for a bunch of hungry penguins is just as odd and funny as it sounds.

I invited my friends over to play 4 player coop, and it worked an absolute treat. We went from fumbling about, tripping over each other and missing every order, to calmly and professionally going about individual duties and nailing the 3 star score. Talking through levels and designating jobs is incredibly important, but you have to be able to react in a crisis. My living room turned from a civilized gaming session into a McDonald’s kitchen during lunchtime on a Saturday; shouted orders, requests and complaints flew around the room in a cacophony of pure noise.

 

I can’t remember having so much fun with a game. This is new era Crash Bash and Mario Kart. It isn’t an expensive game, it wasn’t expensive to make, but it has good ingredients and they work together a treat. If you haven’t played Overcooked yet then for the love of Team 17 play the damn thing, it’s amazing!

 

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