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Overcooked Series




Summary


The Overcooked series (made up of Overcooked 1 & 2) is a cooperative cooking simulation game. The aim of the game is to complete the levels by preparing, cooking, and serving a variety of dishes within a certain time limit. Do you think that’s easy? How about the ingredients moving around constantly… or how about half the floor is lava, or you’re in space? It's as chaotic and entertaining as it sounds and is such a good time no matter your age. The Overcooked series is rated E for everyone and we support this rating. The game is so family-friendly, and the mechanics are so simple I think this game could easily be enjoyed by players of all ages.



While the game can be played solo, it can also be played with up to four people and it is simply much better as a coop game (cooperative multiplayer). The game encourages players to collaborate and strategize to overcome the different obstacles of each map. To complete the game this can take anywhere between 7-13 hours but it can be done over multiple sittings. What is great about this game is that there is a star rating system and the better you do, the more stars you get. This allows you to either play the game and enjoy the chaos, or, use strategic thinking to aim for those higher scores. This is a great game to introduce children into the world of gaming safely and a great game to have at parties regardless of your age.



Gameplay


Overcooked is available on all major platforms and the gameplay is simply amazing. The main storyline is so fun and has plenty of maps which get harder as the game continues giving you a variety of challenges and a change of scenery. In Overcooked 1 you are chefs assisting the Onion Knight and his trusty dog companion, Kevin. You must work your way around the map to conquer the different service challenges... Overcooked 1 can take around 8 to 10 hours if you're playing with friends or family for fun. However, if you want to achieve a higher score and complete all the optional challenges, it can take much longer! There is also a Verse mode if you really want to test your skill against your friends on different challenges!



Overcooked 2 is much the same but this time things are a bit more serious… The Onion Kingdom is in trouble from the ‘Undead’! Sorry I mean the ‘Unbread’! Zombie-like bread creatures are trying to take over the Onion Kingdom after rising due to an unfortunate event involving a magical piece of bread. Overcooked 2 has a lot of hidden objectives so the play time can run anywhere between 7-23 hours if you like to really challenge yourself! In Overcooked 2 there are two other ways to play other than just the story mode including Arcade mode and Versus mode. This can be done online with random people, however, when we tested this option, we were never matched up with online players no longer how long we waited.



There are very helpful tutorials at the beginning of each game so you will be set up to go from the beginning. Also, the game offers lots of different ways to play with friends and family. You can play the game couch coop (together on the same device), play on the same system with different controllers, or play together online. You can also use chat programs such as Discord to set up kids to play with their friends as it is much easier to play the game with voice chat and more fun! Because there are so many ways to play Overcooked, it is just so easy and fun way to get started.



Education


There is some strategy to the Overcooked series especially if you are trying to aim for the high scores. This also requires quick thinking and communication skills with your team so you can really push for those extra stars when completing each level. You can set specific roles for example one person chops the ingredients and one cooks while the other cleans the dishes! So, the games help to work on coordination and basic gameplay skills.



This game is also perfect for younger players or those learning English as a second language as there is only readable dialogue throughout the game. This means for those playing the game, to understand what is happening or what the story is you need to read through the dialogue which can help pick up new words or practice reading. You have to press to continue the dialogue so you can take as long or as little time as you need to read the dialogue and understand what is happening in the story.



Also, because the game is essentially a cooking simulation and you are required to make recipes, there is an element of learning basic cooking recipes! While you may not learn the exact recipe, there is certainly enough to work on basic cooking knowledge which might even inspire kids to try some recipes out in real life!



Violence/ Adult Themes


There is very little in terms of violence and adult themes in this game. Players can dash into each other pushing them back a little bit but there is no graphics to this and is harmless. The characters use a knife when chopping ingredients, but the knife cannot be used at any other time so chefs aren’t running around with knives.



Overcooked 2 has slightly scarier themes but this is only because of the zombie bread. As scary as you think it might be… this is not the case at all because it is cartoonish. However, if you have a child who is particularly sensitive to scarier themes then just use your judgment as to whether it would upset them.



During both Overcooked 1 & 2, the characters have set dialogue options., You cannot change these, however, you will need to be aware that one set of dialogue references swearing. Characters can select the dialogue t anytime and small characters such as ‘%#$&@’. That is all that appears not formed words come out. On the surface, it is harmless as it's just a bunch of symbols, but good to be aware anyway!



Monetization


Both Overcooked games are a one-off purchase and are generally $20-$30 per game. There can be some great deals if you are patient enough too! The game does have extra downloadable content which can give you additional levels or add a mini-series to the game. You can even get some extra customizations of your characters in the buyable content but you do not have to buy these if you do not want to. There are no in-game purchases or in-game currencies. You can earn new chef outfits throughout the game-play depending on how far you get through the game and how many stars you achieve. This is great because it means there are no shortcuts!



Safety


There is no voice or text chat available in the game. The game uses premade phrases for people to communicate when playing with friends or online with other people. This means that even if children went on to play online with strangers, there is little room for players to chat other than using the preselected phrases.



While there is no in-game chat, usernames are visible on the lobby screens. You should ensure that kids aren’t using their real names for usernames. There is the possibility that someone could privately message through the platform console after the game as they will know this information. However, you can still block people on different platforms, and given that we could not find a public game, the risk of this is very low.



Tips and Tricks


The Overcooked series can be played either using a keyboard or a controller. Personally, the controller is much easier to use than a keyboard! You can also connect your controller to your computer by using either a special cable or Bluetooth if it is wireless!



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