Review – Overcooked! All You Can Eat
In a world of an ever decreasing amount of co-op titles, Overcooked! came along and offered a refreshing family fun title that blew up. A game that was simple enough for everyone to understand, but frantic enough that lead to some intense situations. With the success of the series there has now been DLC, Overcooked! 2, and even more DLC. With new consoles coming along, it only makes sense to release a compilation of the entire series.
For better or worse, that is exactly what Overcooked! All You Can Eat is: a series bundle. It includes Overcooked!, Overcooked! 2, both game’s DLC, and a small handful of additional content. All-in-all this is a ton of content that will keep your family and friends busy for a long time. However, if you’ve already been a fan of the series there may not be enough new content to make it worth it. Obviously this bundle is aimed towards people who don’t own any or perhaps only one of the titles.
Those unfamiliar with Overcooked!, it’s basically a puzzle cooking game. Each level offers a unique kitchen layout and some recipes you must cook. Food orders come in and you must prepare the dishes in a timely manner to earn enough tips to earn stars and progress to the next level. The longer it takes you to make a dish and send it out, the less money you will earn. If you’re in a burger restaurant, you will need to cut up lettuce and tomato, as well as cook the burger on the stove and then assemble all the ingredients on a plate and bring it to the counter. Sounds simple enough.
While the objectives are that simple, the catch here is that the kitchen often plays against you, as does the clock. As you progress, recipes will become more detailed and require more steps, as expected. However, the actual kitchens become way more hectic. You’ll be trying to cook on a swaying boat and periodically it will toss your tables to the other side of the room. Or a massive earthquake will split your kitchen in two preventing you from accessing one side for a time. You’ll even serve a high speed drive-thru cooking on the back of flatbed trucks as they split apart for traffic. Each level is unique and while the cooking act is simple, it’s all the obstacles in your way that make it frantic fun.
While you can play alone swapping between two different cooks, Overcooked! is clearly a co-op focused game. This is also where the Nintendo Switch shines. Being able to pop the Joy-Cons off for quick co-op gameplay is simple. Have a family member or a buddy quickly hop in and take control of the second cook to take some pressure off of you. More often than not the kitchen layouts really force co-operation between two players. A single player who can multitask extremely well will still succeed, but it’s a challenge.
There is more than enough content with just the base two games and their DLC. We are talking hundreds of levels and more than fifty chefs to play with as well as more to unlock. There is some new content added in, but as I said above, it likely isn’t enough for long time fans to double dip for. There are seven new kitchens, three new chefs, and a new assist mode that increases the timer and your money earned. I did find that playing the assist mode made it more fun to play with my kids as it offered less stressful scenarios for them.
In my second paragraph I stated that this bundle was a “for better or worse” situation, and I’ll explain that. If you ever had a problem with how Overcooked! played or controlled, unfortunately this all remains the same. There are inconsistencies with the gameplay that do lead to some frustrations, and it’s a shame the gameplay wasn’t tightened up or refined at all. This is also another reason why long time fans may not feel the need to purchase this collection.
One area that Overcooked! All You Can Eat did improve on is the visuals. I always thought Overcooked! had a timeless cartoony look that holds up for ages. However, the improvements here are extremely nice. Not only did the visual fidelity get a bump, but maps are remade with far more detail. Even with the increased detail, it doesn’t loose its bright, poppy, colorful, and charming visuals which is most important.
Sound design remains untouched, but honestly it didn’t need any tweaks. The playful tunes during the levels match the lighthearted and cartoony visuals nicely. Fun upliftings songs quickly become frantic beats that help put the pressure on when coming down to the wire. The ambient sounds of the levels are also well balanced as to not be distracting or annoying, but to bring life to the kitchen. However, the most impressive part of the sound design is how well the game gives you hints with auditory queues. Once you dial into the queues you’ll know exactly when certain cooking tools are finished.
Overcooked! All You Can Eat is an extremely good value offering a ton of content under a decent price. The visual and FPS improvements are welcome and it’s great having the entire series under one game. However, if you’ve been a long time fan investing in the series, there may not be enough new content to warrant another purchase.
Overcooked! has always had a colorful, fun, and inviting visual style that I think is timeless. Cook skins and level designs are imaginative and fun to play in.
Gameplay remains exactly as you remember it, untouched, for better or worse. The frantic rush to deliver meal orders is still extremely engaging, and being able to pop off a Joy-Con for cooperative help is easy.
Sound design is well done with plenty of fun sound effects that match its cartoony visuals. Auditory cues for the gameplay make it easy to track when certain cooking processes are finished. The soundtrack is light and playful.
Fun Factor: 9.0
As a collection of Overcooked!, Overcooked! 2, all of the DLC, and a handful of new levels; Overcooked! All You Can Eat delivers a content filled package. However, it may not be worth it for avid fans of the franchise.
Final Verdict: 9.0
Overcooked! All You Can Eat is available now on PS4, Xbox One, PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PC, and Switch.
Reviewed on Switch.
A copy of Overcooked! All You Can Eat was provided by the publisher.