As someone who has been playing couch co-op video games with his brother since the mid-’90s, I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for them. Between the two of us, we’ve covered a lot of couch co-op games on Geeky Hobbies in the past, and we almost always wind up liking them. There’s just something so much more satisfying about playing a game with your best friend on a couch, rather than alone or with randoms on the internet. The excitement and camaraderie you get from working together to progress in couch co-op games is unmatched. Overcooked is actually a franchise that we’ve had experience with before as we played the sequel a few years ago and enjoyed it immensely (but never played the original or any of the paid DLC, just the free holiday-themed ones). In fact, it’s actually one of our favorite couch co-op games of all-time and there was no doubt we were going to check out Overcooked! All You Can Eat when we were offered a review key.
Overcooked! All You Can Eat is a compilation of both Overcooked games and all DLC for the games, with another small set of exclusive levels and chefs added in. The game was released last year for those fortunate enough to scoop up the next gen consoles but was just now recently released for those of us still stuck on the previous generation (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Steam, Nintendo Switch). For those who haven’t been exposed to the series yet, Overcooked is a cooking-themed couch co-op franchise that requires cooperation in order to serve as many customers as possible to hit each level’s benchmark. But it’s not as easy as chopping up ingredients, baking or cooking them, and serving the final dishes. Almost every level has some sort of twist to it and you’ll have to deal with obstacles and hindrances such as conveyor belts, lava (which will set your kitchen ablaze), your kitchen re-arranging itself, rats stealing your chopped up ingredients, and so much more. Many levels require cooperation as you are sometimes separated from each other and given distinct jobs that only you can perform. For each level, you have three score goals to achieve (along with a fourth platinum one you can go back for once each game is completed). The first two are usually pretty easy, even with just a two-player party. The third star is a bit more difficult, especially for smaller parties, but it helps add a bit more playtime to the game if you’re a completionist like me. The platinum star is next to impossible in most levels with just two players though, so you will need a larger party to 100% the game.
Overcooked has a reputation for being a very hard game that is extremely fun but can also easily lead to some fighting and frustration due to how important cooperation is in this series. Outside of a few levels here and there, I never really thought either game was particularly frustrating or overly difficult (outside of getting three stars on a few select levels). Certain levels can be challenging but if you’ve played a lot of games with your teammate(s) in the past, it’s really not that hard. I personally just consider both games to be really fun casual couch co-op games to play with your friends. Of course it helps having hundreds if not thousands of hours of experience with your teammate (like I have with Eric) but I never found it as stressful as others do. You might get a bit angry here or there if your teammate is slow or messes up but it’s not like this game is going to break up a friendship or relationship like some other games.
Overcooked! All You Can Eat is pretty much the perfect local co-op game (and with this version, the original Overcooked! can also be played online for the first time ever). It’s challenging but not frustrating, most of the mechanics are more fun than frustrating to deal with, and many of the levels are surprisingly puzzley, especially if you are playing with just two players (you’ll have to try to figure out a pattern of actions that will help you get in a rhythm to achieve the highest score possible). Most levels require a lot of teamwork, cooperation, and communication and it’s very rewarding when you three-star a level that’s taken you a few tries. It’s really hard to explain what makes this game so addicting and fun, but it just is. The game is best with four players as some levels are much easier to navigate with a full squad but it’s definitely possible to three-star all of the levels with just two (some of the platinum stars are pretty much impossible to get though).
All in all, with Overcooked! All You Can Eat you get access to over 200 levels of content (when you add up the first two games and all of the DLC levels), 80+ chefs, a remaster featuring 4K and 60 FPS, cross-platform multiplayer, and seven new levels that are only available in this edition of the game. For trophy/achievement hunters like me, this package also gives you a chance to double-dip and get all of those trophies/achievements once again. The game retails for $39.99 with a small loyalty discount for the next week or so for those who already own one or both of the games. One thing to be aware of though, early reviewers of the game on Steam do seem to be having a lot of issues with the online multiplayer and controller support. I played it on PlayStation 4 and via local co-op and outside of a few minor bugs, never really experienced any problems myself. However, I do not know if PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, or Xbox One are having the same issues as the Steam version. I’m sure these problems will be cleared up soon though, if they haven’t already.
I think there’s a very good chance that Overcooked! 2 is one of my top ten favorite co-op games of all-time (with the original being up there as well). Both games are great and offer a lot of levels and interesting mechanics. I would absolutely recommend this to anyone who loves co-op games but doesn’t already own these games. For $40, you are getting a lot of content and this is one of the best co-op series on the market. For those who already have most if not all of these games and DLCs, there’s only seven levels included here that you can’t get anywhere else so I doubt it would be worth the $40 investment (depending on how much DLC you are missing, you might just be better off buying the rest separately instead of buying this). For those who have the main games but not the DLC, I could go either way. You are still getting a lot of new levels, but most of the DLC only lasts a few hours (outside of the relatively lengthy and difficult Halloween-themed pack) and the value here isn’t super amazing. If you are in this boat, I would maybe wait for a sale. However, anyone who likes co-op games absolutely must try Overcooked at some point and this is the best way to get the full course. Highly recommended.
Overcooked! All You Can Eat was released on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Steam on March 23, 2021 (and PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X in 2020).
Geeky Hobbies would like to thank Team17 Digital for the review copy of Overcooked! All You Can Eat that was used for this review. Other than receiving a free copy of the game to review, we at Geeky Hobbies received no other compensation for this review. Receiving the review copy for free had no impact on the content of this review or the final score.