There's one minute left on the clock. Something's about to burn and set the whole kitchen alight. You have five orders on the go, and there's no clean dishes. Oh, and half of your kitchen has just sunk into murky space water, killing two of your chefs in the process.
That's a fairly standard thing you'll see in Overcooked 2, the upcoming sequel to one of the best and weirdest party games to be released in recent years.
The new edition is instantly familiar to veteran players, but with new recipes, locations, and a couple of small mechanical additions which open the experience up to a whole new way of playing.
Overcooked 2 has you and up to three friends running a small kitchen, making food, serving dishes, and cleaning plates against the clock to please your customers and rack up huge points.
There's a fairly set rhythm to proceedings – first you need to chop your ingredients, then cook them, plate them according to the order, serve the dish, and move on to the next one.
Sadly, it's never that simple. The kitchens you're forced to work in are usually full of hazards – the aforementioned sinkage, for one, along with torches that set parts of your kitchen on fire willy-nilly, disappearing stairs, teleporters, and, well, all the other chefs you're working with.
Your rhythm is upset on a regular basis, and you need to adapt and communicate with your friends to make sure you can keep getting orders out before you lose your way and descend completely into chaos.
Twist on an old classic
So far, so Overcooked. New to the sequel is the ability to throw ingredients around the kitchen, which may sound like a small change, but actually opens up a wealth of possibilities.
Stages have been designed to take throwing into account, so you may find yourself on opposite sides of an impassable gap from half your team, forced to chuck stuff back and forth to get your dishes built up.
Characters also automatically catch anything thrown at them if they have nothing to hand, which can cause havoc if they're trying to do something unrelated and end up with a fist full of cheese to contend with.
Scoring has also been changed up slightly. You can now build up a tips multiplier by serving food in the order it is shown – skip the next order to get something quicker out and you lose the multiplier, costing you a potential deluge of coins from the rest of your orders.
Cooked to perfection
Throw in the option of online play, an arcade mode which subtly changes up the maps you're used to with different recipes and minor layout changes, and the ever intense versus mode, and you've got a party game that just about anyone can enjoy.
And just to make it patently clear – Overcooked 2 is a lot of fun. Even when things are going wrong – especially when things are going wrong – it's an absolute riot to play with friends and strangers alike as you scream at each other to throw over ingredients and stop things from catching fire.
It's essentially more of the same, but with some small changes that have a massive impact on how you'll play. Which is all a sequel to Overcooked needed, really.
You can get your hands on the game yourself on August 7th when it launches on Switch. We'll almost certainly have a proper review for you then too – we can't wait to really sink some time into this one.
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