Bottom line: Overcooked! All You Can Eat is a great multi-player experience with cross-platform play that serves up plenty of content for hours of crazy fun. However, this game is made for too many cooks in the kitchen, and it does have a few technical issues that keep it from being top chef.
Fun and simple mechanics
Varying difficulty for all levels
Plenty of cooks in the kitchen
So much free DLC!
Not as much fun for solo players
Frame rate is choppy
A little latency when docked
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Put on your chef's hat and dust off your apron! It's time to step into the craziest kitchens ever in this way-too-fun cooperative sim. If you somehow missed out on the first Overcooked! and then the second installment, Overcooked! 2, now's your chance to see what all the fuss is about.
Overcooked! All You Can Eat on Nintendo Switch is a combo of the original two games, remastered and tweaked to perfection, but that's not all. The new game includes all of the available DLC from the previous games, along with an all-new set of levels facing off against the ever-peckish.
However, if you already own the game, you might be wondering if it's worth dropping the money to buy something you already own. Conversely, if you've never played, it might seem overwhelming for newcomers. As someone who owns all three and introduced several non-gamers to the series, I can honestly say that Overcooked! All You Can Eat is definitely more than worth it.
Overcooked! All You Can Eat: What's good
|Category||Overcooked! All You Can Eat|
|Title||Overcooked! All You Can Eat|
|Game Size||10.9 GB|
|Play Time||15-20 hours|
|Players||Up to four players|
Depending on how familiar you are with the series, Overcooked! All You Can Eat can work for all skill levels. The package contains Overcooked!, Overcooked! 2, and all the DLC previously available for both games. So, if you want to ease your way in, you can start at the very beginning and work your way through. Plus, it has a few new bits, so veteran players will get something out of it too.
If you're new or haven't played in a while, the developers make this game super accessible. There are constant, but not annoying, reminders of the controls depending on the number of people playing, how you are playing, and whether you are using the Joy-Cons or a controller.
Don't worry, though! If things are too challenging, All You Can eat offers an assist mode, which will take some of the pressure off by adding more time to the level, more time for recipes, and an option to skip levels. Also, there's a practice mode so you can map out your kitchen before you tackle a level. There are some extra accessibility options with Scalable UI and dyslexia-friendly text, so even more people can play.
On the other hand, if the kitchens aren't challenging enough, there's a new four-star challenge, so vets can take a crack at getting a new high score. You can even try your hand at the new survival mode. Not to mention, the developers are always dropping new DLC, with levels, chefs, and fun recipes — like the latest birthday update. And if you want to play with others, you don't have to wait for them to come over. As long as you have Nintendo Switch Online and your friends have copy/online play, you can play together even on different consoles. So no matter how you play, you can play together! And really, playing is the sweetest plum.
Overcooked! All You Can Eat is simple, yet so complex
The best thing about Overcooked! All You Can Eat, and any Overcooked! title really, is that it's super easy to play. It's perfect for beginners, but don't let the innocent art style and basic concept fool you. These kitchens can get messy fast. The game has a fairly simple concept, but the layouts become more complicated as you move through each section. Each level begins calm and slow, and things start to ramp up as the timer ticks down.
The steps are simple: chop, cook, assemble, and serve food as a team. It's a race to the plate and against the clock. Like a real restaurant, the orders line up at the top of the screen, and you and your friends have to do your best to prepare them in the right order. So, you better have a plan because those tickets can pile up fast.
The overall goal is to complete the tickets to earn points for a 1-3 star rating (or 4 once you've beaten the game) star rating when the timer finishes. Completing them in order and quickly will earn you more tips and higher scores, while missing orders or timing out will lose points. The scores vary depending on how many players you have. Of course, you want to do as well as possible, so speed, delivery, and perfection are factors. Your performance depends on how well your party functions as a unit and whether you can overcome the obstacles like mice, shifting settings, or overwhelming hungry guests.
Whether you start with Overcooked! or one of the DLC packages, you'll prepare a simple recipe in a fairly easy kitchen at the start of every section. For instance, your first task in a real, non-story mission kitchen is to make soup using three of the same ingredient. Just chop, stick it in the pot, and wait for it to finish. Don't leave it too long, or it will light your whole kitchen on fire.
Recipes and kitchen will get increasingly complex as you play, ramping up the difficulty in a natural way. You'll move from simple salads to meat pies and cakes. Some levels are easier than others, and while you may get used to making some recipes, the kitchens themselves can get a bit crazy. You'll be serving up meals on pirate ships, in haunted mansions, and busy city streets; these kitchens are impractical but fun. And since you have so many different scenes, storylines, and kitchens to play, you can easily pour hours into this game and easily get your money's worth.
Overcooked! All You Can Eat: What's not good
While there is plenty of fun to be had here, a few rotten ingredients spoil the experience. The first, and worst perhaps, is that the frame rate on the Nintendo Switch is not the greatest. It can latency a bit, as well, but it won't be enough to ruin your experience. Still, it is not as smooth as it is on other consoles. Having played on the Switch and the Xbox Series X, it's obvious that the next-gen experience is much clearer. Still, if you play primarily on your Switch, this issue doesn't really matter. You can still play it and have an excellent time.
The second issue makes me a little sad since I enjoy this game on so many levels, but Overcooked! All You Can Eat is more of a group experience. While there's a single-player mode, and you can play through the levels yourself, it's not nearly as fun. You control two avatars and work your way through the kitchen, and it is much more difficult. If you're looking for a challenge, it will certainly offer one. However, if you want to have a good time, you're better off pulling in a friend. On the upside, this game is great for players at all levels, so finding someone won't be that hard.
Overcooked! All You Can Eat: Should you play it?
I can't say enough great things about Overcooked! All You Can Eat. It is a great game to pick up and play with your friends, though you may be screaming orders at each other. You know, just like real life. If you missed the first two entries in the series or you love the game and want even more chaotic cooking, this is the perfect bundle to pick up. The developers are always dropping in free DLC, and there is enough new stuff to make it worth it.
Just be aware that the Switch version does have framerate issues and a bit of lag. Also, if you're looking for a solo experience, this might not be the best game. So, that being said, grab a friend either close by or cross-console and get in the kitchen. Oh yes, and punch a mouse for me.
Sara is the Freelance Coordinator, writer, and editor at iMore. When not editing or writing away, she's glued to her Nintendo Switch, Xbox, or PS5, though she's a retro gamer at heart.
By Tammy Rogers