Mechanics of Overcooked

Overcooked is a cooperative game where 2-4 players race the clock to prepare orders in a hectic restaurant.  As recipe cards are displayed, the chefs must work together to gather and chop the ingredients, and then cook, plate and deliver the orders, and wash the dishes.  The fun in the game comes from the increasing challenge of adapting to new obstacles in each level — everything from rats to shifting kitchen layout to kitchen fires gets in the way of accomplishing the goal of delivering the meals.  The kitchen layout and timing elements (such as the amount of time it takes to chop and cook ingredients) is systematically designed to force the players to learn to coordinate with each other, constantly changing roles and maneuvering to avoid bumping into one another.  Feelings of fellowship are created by working together, and beating a level is truly a team victory.  While the ingredients are unlimited, resources that must be managed include the limited number of cutting boards, stoves, and plates, and of course the time allotted to beat the level.  While the game could technically be played by one person controlling two cooks, this is not nearly as fun as having a partner who can discuss strategy before the level begins and shout out requests as the level progresses.  The output of the team is rated at 1-3 stars for each round, and a cumulative amount of stars must be collected to unlock additional levels.  Players may initially choose from 4 characters, whose diversity includes animals, people of color, and a character in a wheelchair. New character options are unlocked as levels are mastered.  Overcooked has just the right balance of challenge and whimsy to be a rollicking good time.

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