For the longest time, it felt like the gaming industry wanted to move away from traditional couch coop experiences in favour of online play. In recent years, however, there has been somewhat of a resurgence in local experiences, especially within indie gaming. As a ‘90s gamer approaching his 30s, I have a deep appreciation for playing games together with friends, which is why I was excited to review Shakes on a Plane.
Excellent puns aside, Shakes on a Plane is a couch co-op food serving game that follows in the footsteps – or is that foodsteps – of Overcooked and Cook, Serve, Delicious. Playing solo or with friends, you’ll be tasked with serving food in increasingly difficult and bombastic situations. With each level, new mechanics are introduced which challenge players to adapt and learn, as well as mastering mechanics introduced in earlier levels. Shakes on a Plane doesn’t do anything particularly original, so if you’ve ever played a similar food-related game you’ll know what to expect here.
Shakes on a Plane’s levels are based on flights. You must make your way across the world, serving food and drinks on a plane as it travels through the air. The difficulty increases with each flight, as the orders become more complicated. From one flight to the next, you process and deliver orders with multiple items, or cooking food and heating it up. In order to balance all these requests, the game gives you control of two characters which you can swap between during gameplay when playing solo.
This swapping system is okay for the most part, but this is clearly a game designed for co-op, so it’s not a perfect solution. In single-player, it often feels like the additional player just kind of gets in the way. You can strategically place them, but the plane tends to move around quite a lot which pushes them from one end of the plane to the other. If you intend to purchase Shakes on a Plane make sure you have friends to play it with. The single-player experience feels deeply underwhelming, while the multiplayer fun can, on occasion, really fly.
Visually, Shakes on a Plane looks and feels pretty basic, but there’s something quite likable about the way it’s presented. From the cartoon characters, through to the way the plane zips around the air, there’s a really cute vibe to Shakes on a Plane and it’s an aspect I feel makes it more enjoyable than it should be.
There’s a real lack of content on offer here though. There’s one gameplay mode, which is the main campaign, but there’s no alternative modes outside of that. The only real additional challenge on offer is obtaining maximum ranking in each level, but there’s no other reason to come back to Shakes on a Plane once you’ve completed it. With an asking price of £18, the price of entry feels steep for the amount of content on offer.