Anyone who has played Ghost Town Games’ indie darling Overcooked is sure to harbour a love-hate feeling for the little cooking simulator. It’s a game where you must work together inside a kitchen to piece together meals for needy customers. The only problem is you are timed, you bump into each other a lot, sometimes food burns and causes fires, and, oh yeah, you’re on a flying blimp that crashes into another, different restaurant halfway through the level.
On sight, Overcooked 2 is everything the original was, but just a little bit better. The visuals remain largely identical: cartoonish with a slightly askew and overhead perspective of a kitchen. But unlike the original game, you aren’t just cooking steaks for half the game.
Our first task was to make two types of sushi for three minutes within a busy intersection of pedestrians. In this game, you move your little chef around and press B to chop up ingredients, manically carry items around the kitchen, plate things as dictated, and try to serve them to customers as quickly as you can. There’s food prep, plate cleaning, and if you’re unlucky, fires to put out. All of this will seem very familiar to fans of the original, of course.
In the demo, we were making various salads, burgers (with cheese), and all sorts of dishes not native to the original game. Part of what made the symphony of the Overcooked kitchen progressively easier was that you got really good at making the orders. As meals are a lot more varied this time around, things remain more manic for a lot longer. It’s a welcome change of pace from the original and a logical improvement for the sequel.
Here’s what else is new: you can throw items a decent distance across the stage. A circular select screen allows for real-time emoting as you’re dashing around the kitchen (thanks, Fortnite). There’s also the particularly smart addition of combos, which gives you more points if you finish your orders exactly in the order as they are tabbed at the top of the screen. Nice.
As emphasized by the developers, none of these things are required to finish a level or complete your goals, but they add another layer for those completionist (or masochist) players out there; we can already tell that this sequel will offer players plenty to master.
And yes, there is a story. Something about the onion master who raises "The Walking Bread", a horde of evil pieces of toast that plague the identical-looking level select screen from the first game. None of this matters in the slightest, but the fact that it’s there adds proves this is a labour of silly love.
The most important addition to Overcooked was the one we couldn’t play, but were told about in detail. As was boasted in the game’s trailer, co-op online multiplayer has been added to the already solid local multiplayer experience. That means the game covers all of the connected gaming bases, although local play is still one of the funniest experiences you can have on the Switch right now.
Look forward to Overcooked 2 when it releases on August 7th. Between the wizard portals, the expanded menu, and the promise of online, Overcooked 2 might become a multiplayer must-buy for the Switch. Look for our review soon.