Great couch co-op games are increasingly harder to come by nowadays. Where they were once a staple back in the days of older, so-called “retro” systems, our modern obsession with online multiplayer has made them less viable, especially when facing down AAA behemoths.
However, even in 2016, amidst giants such as Uncharted 4, Battlefield 1 and Final Fantasy XV, there’s one such game that managed to steal away some of that spotlight. Overcooked is easily one of our favourite releases of the past twelve months, built from the ground up as a perfect culinary party game.
Up to four players dash about one of its cleverly designed stages, piecing together the individual elements of a recipe before banking the completed dish for a stack of points. It starts out devilishly simple though quickly becomes more taxing, both in terms of the orders coming in and the various tasks that need juggling. It’s scrumptiously intoxicating and only gets better as more people join in.
The only drawback, of course, was the amount of content on offer. If the versus modes aren’t really your thing then expect to get a few hours of co-op fun with friends – more if you intend to go back and try to collect every star in the game. For the asking price there’s a fair number of stages to clear but when something is this good, we’d rather go for the all you can buffet rather than the family bucket.
Overcooked first and only confirmed DLC, The Lost Morsel, is aptly named. Spanning six new levels it’s more of a bitesize add-on than a hearty dessert. Accessed via the main menu, it sees the Onion King and his cheffy pals transported to a small tropical island with eighteen new stars to grab.
As expected, each one has its own quirk, whether that’s moving worktops or fire breathing totems, though none feel particularly creative or complex. That’s not to say they aren’t a welcome addition to the current spread of stages, it’s just that, after a few months of anticipation, The Lost Morsel doesn’t give fans a massively compelling reason to spend that extra £3.99. For seasoned players, it’ll all be over in a flash as you blitz your way through each of the six jungle-themed levels back to back.
If Ghost Town were to add a new recipe or some kind of advanced mechanic to spice things up, then the added expense may be somewhat justified. As it stands, The Lost Morsel is less of a full course than it is a mouthful, though one that succeeds in reminding us just how great Overcooked is.