If you are fortunate enough to run a successful restaurant, café, bistro, or eatery, you might want to think about expanding your business and creating a franchise. That’s clearly what the team (I say “team;” it’s actually just a duo.) at Ghost Town Games have thought after the success of 2016’s Overcooked. And who could blame them? That game was not just a commercial success, but a critical one too with Metacritic scores in the 80s. While the Nintendo Switch port of the title did a great job of recreating the gameplay and challenging puzzles, it did suffer from some frame drops. So, how does Overcooked 2 fare?
Save the Onion Kingdom, again
Playing as an unnamed team of chefs, you are once again called upon to save the Onion Kingdom. Where the first game’s campaign took its cues from apocalyptic, giant monster movies, Overcooked 2 skews more towards The Evil Dead and zombie films. While trying to create a recipe from the necro-nomnom-icon, the Onion King and his dog Kevin create monsters in the form of the unbread (zombie-like slices of bread). You and your fellow chef are once again tasked with learning new culinary concoctions to satiate these foes and save the kingdom. Of course, the story here really isn’t very relevant as it’s just an excuse to provide more puzzle-based gameplay. With that said, I confess that there were quite a few jokes in the game that had me laughing out loud.
Like any great sequel, Overcooked 2 keeps what was good about the first game and then throws a few new things into the mix. One of the first new “ingredients” that you’ll notice is the ability to throw things. This simple addition makes a big tactical change. You can save a lot of time by throwing an ingredient over the counter to your colleague rather than walking all the way around. This skill has been balanced by not allowing you to throw cooked food or pots, pans, and plates. Within a few levels, it will become second nature to you. This is just as well, as there are a lot more recipes to create this time around. You’ll find yourself whipping up cakes, pasta, and sushi in no time at all.
Better multiplayer and technical improvements
One of the other big new additions to the game is online multiplayer. The first game’s couch co-op is back, but you can now play with your online friends as well. Arcade mode sees you playing alongside your friends as you tackle various levels of the main game. Versus pits you against your friends as either the red team or the blue team. Any spots that aren’t filled will be taken up by AI characters. In the chances I have had to try these modes out, they worked really well. Playing alongside a couple of my fellow Enthusiasts was an absolute blast. It has to be said, though, that this really is a game where you need to communicate with your teammates. There isn’t native in-game chat, so you will want to arrange a method of communication with your friends before you start.
The original Overcooked had a few technical issues when it arrived on Switch. One of the most noticeable was the framerate, which would often drop dramatically. Fortunately for this sequel, the guys at Ghost Town Games have fixed these issues. In the numerous hours I have put into Overcooked 2, I haven’t noticed a single framerate issue in docked or handheld mode. In fact, the only issues I have had with the game are very minor ones with the moving platforms in a few of the levels. There are some arenas where you control a platform that will allow you to reach different areas. On a couple of these, I have had issues where it wouldn’t let me walk onto or off of the platform. This can be really frustrating when you’re doing particularly well in a level or need to get back to a frying pan before it sets your kitchen on fire.
Overcooked 2 is something of a perfect sequel. It takes what the original did well, cleans it up, and then adds a few new elements. The puzzles are well balanced and, unlike the previous game, you can actually complete it on your own. It’s still a game that is best played with friends, and fortunately, these friends can be either on the sofa next to you or online this time around. The art style is still great and retains that brilliant blend of comical and practical. There’s very little to criticise about the game. Yes, there were those moving platform issues, but that’s about it. The main campaign isn’t that long (just over 40 levels), but not only is this a budget title anyway–the online component will extend the game’s life for many hours and weeks to come. Overcooked 2 provides a welcome portion of second helpings.
A review code was provided by the publisher.