Overcooked: All You Can Eat – The Birthday Party Update (Switch) Review
It’s hard to believe it’s been five years since Overcooked was first released. Not only that, we’ve seen a sequel, and just under a year ago, a remastered compilation graced the Switch. If you haven’t had your fill, then it’s time for a Birthday Party! Overcooked: All you can eat – The Birthday Party Update DLC party in particular.
This compilation contains both Overcooked 1 and 2 and all of the DLC that came with them. We’re looking at it now because of the Birthday update, provided free for owners of this version of the game.
The original Overcooked pits the cooks of the Onion Kingdom against an insatiable spaghetti monster bringing about the apocalypse. Initially unable to satisfy its never-ending desire for food, the Onion King sends you back a few years to prepare properly for the showdown. This results in ever-increasing hazardous kitchens to navigate as you prepare as many meals as possible before time runs out. There is no kitchen too wild and precarious to cook in!
After stopping the apocalypse, Overcooked 2 sets your crew of cooks against the Unbread. This may or may not have been the King’s fault, not that it really matters! Once again, you’re taken to the wild and zany kitchens to appease the masses, only this time you can throw what you’re holding. If you haven’t played, it might not seem like much, but it was a big deal to me. Ultimately this sequel is more Overcooked, which is great! It’s exactly what you’d want from a compilation jam-packed with Overcooked levels.
This birthday celebration takes you across five new kitchens and adds an extra recipe and cat chef. The gimmick for this party is playing card guards patrolling around and whisking your chef away with portals. If you’re really into an Alice in Wonderland theme, you’ll dig these kitchens. If you’re just jumping on board now, this is just one of many extra kitchens on top of the main games. For those coming back to check out the new update to lure you back in. I would heavily recommend that you play some of the main games before tackling the DLC.
Both games come with all the DLC they were released with, greatly expanding the number of kitchens to run around. The All You Can Eat version has enough Overcooked to keep you and your friends cooking for hours. And you’ll want to play this with friends. Managing these hectic kitchens will require teamwork and an abundance of patience.
While the game feels made for multiplayer play, it is still okay for single players. It’s hard not to feel you lose a lot of the chemistry that makes the game work, but it’s manageable.
Assist mode helps make it much more easygoing if you don’t want the pressure and just want to have a fun time cooking up some meals and tackling it in your own time. It’s great this mode is included. It’s the kind of game where it’s just as fun to play at a relaxed place sometimes. Let’s face it, games like this are built on being frantic, non-stop action, but it doesn’t mean people who feel overwhelmed by it all don’t want to play. One downside that owners of either or both games individually is that the Birthday DLC is only available with the All You Can Eat Edition. It’s not the first game to make upgrades or extras exclusive to the ‘ultimate’ edition, and it won’t be the last.
It’s also a shame they didn’t apply mechanics like throwing ingredients around retroactively into the first game. I’m sure it’s easier said than done, but once you can throw stuff around the kitchen, it’s hard going back. Especially when playing through single-player, it is a more fun time in the second game because of it.
While the loading is meant to be super quick on the new console versions, it’s more of a wait than you’d like on the Switch. Besides, you can use that loading time to mend your fraying friendships/relationships between kitchens.
Overcooked: All You Can Eat is an easy sell to co-op players who revel in chaos. If you’ve already forked out for the two games and their DLC, this is likely salt on the wound. It’s hard to recommend getting this game if you’re going to go it alone. It’s doable, but this is a game that really excels with others to join. It’s been out for a while now, but with the birthday update it’s the icing on the cake.
+ An enjoyably madcap multiplayer game
+ Heaps of kitchens and scenarios to cook in
- Not being able to throw food in the first game
- New DLC limited to the All You Can Eat edition