Overcooked Special Edition (Nintendo Switch) Review

Overcooked Special Edition (Nintendo Switch) Review

There have been several times in my life where I have been convinced to purchase video games thanks to the lovely people at Penny Arcade. When I wasn’t sure about getting Prototype, I was informed that you could do a karate kick on a helicopter, and that was all I needed. When I didn’t know what Dokapon Kingdom was, they informed me it was Monopoly set in a fantasy world where players can murder each other—it became a must-own. And when I had only seen cursory glances of Ghost Town Games’ Overcooked, Penny Arcade assured me it was a game worth owning.

I had pretty high hopes when I grabbed a buddy to play Overcooked, despite not really knowing what to expect. What we got was a chaotically fun, sort-of-cooking game that tested the limits of our coordination and our friendship.

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Overcooked: Special Edition (Nintendo Switch) Gameplay images via Nintendo.

Now I won’t get too deep into reviewing Overcooked since CGM’s Jed Witaker already wrote a solid review for it, and the Nintendo Switch version is largely the same. Much like my Jackbox Party Pack 3 review, this is really more a case for the console than the game. The game sets the bar for ridiculousness pretty high as it begins at the end of the world, with a large onion man instructing you in the culinary arts as a giant spaghetti monster known as “The Ever Peckish” awakens to devour the world. But before it can, you are sent back in time to serve hungry customers in different restaurants around the world and throughout time; honing your skills to take on The Ever Peckish once and for all. It’s a hilarious and charming story, and it does its duty in creating a context for the game proper. However, it serves more as a garnish to the main course that is Overcooked’s gameplay.

Four chefs must co-operate in the kitchen to prepare ingredients, assemble food, serve orders on time and wash the returning dishes. While this sounds simple in concept, the game finds ever more elaborate ways to test your skills as kitchens become increasingly sophisticated. From cooking on a pirate ship as the waves shift the layout, too tight corridors where players are destined to bump into or impede each other in the heat of the moment, and even one kitchen where rats began stealing ingredients off the table which, for whatever reason, caused my friend and me to completely break down into hysterics.

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Overcooked: Special Edition (Nintendo Switch) Gameplay images via Nintendo.

The game is consistently fast-paced, and its simple controls make it easy for anyone to dive into. The only downside to this is that it is, at its core, a multiplayer game, and while you can play alone—shifting control between two chefs—this is mainly a test in futility. This is probably what suits Overcooked best to a console like the Nintendo Switch, given the system’s couch co-op design, ease of portability, and multiplayer capability.

Sound and visual design in Overcooked are minimalist and charming with adorable chibi style chefs running frantically around, and some pretty great character skins like a cat, a dinosaur and even a robot! While there isn’t a lot in the way of music, the main “kitchen theme” does create a frenetic pace while maintaining the jovial tone.

Being a special edition, Overcooked on the Switch comes packed with all the DLC including “Festive Seasoning” and “Lost Morsel”, both of which add new campaign levels, new kitchens, and new chef skins. However, while the game is still fairly solid, there are some technical hiccups on the Nintendo Switch version.

Overcooked Special Edition (Nintendo Switch) Review
Overcooked: Special Edition (Nintendo Switch) Gameplay images via Nintendo.

Framerate issues have been reported, however, I never experienced anything too jarring, and there are also reports of odd Joy-Con rumble issues where players will feel the actions of another player—causing a bit of confusion. I’m not entirely sure if this was an error, or perhaps a way of physically keeping other players aware of the actions of players on chopping duty. Thankfully, the Team17 devs have been working on a patch to address the issues.

In spite of these minor issues, Overcooked remains a fantastic game that is sure to deliver one heck of a good time, or at the very least help you drop a few of those “friends” you’ve been looking to cut out of your life. It’s a solid game that is only made better thanks to the Nintendo Switch’s unique design and is a must-have in the system’s growing library of portable party games.

Team17 Announces Its Partnership with Mothership Entertainment for Aven Colony

Team17 Announces Its Partnership with Mothership Entertainment for Aven Colony

Team17 has announced that it will be partnering with Texas-based independent developer Mothership Entertainment to publish the sci-fi city-building and management sim, Aven Colony. The title will be available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.

Aven Colony, which has been in development since 2013, is set on an alien world called “Aven Prime,” full of deserts, tundras, and wetlands. Aven Colony is an extraterrestrial colony simulation game where players will build, customize, and maintain their settlement and resources, while protecting their citizens from a variety of alien life forms.

Both novice and experienced players will feel well prepared through the game’s dedicated mission objective system, being gradually introduced to the colony management in the campaign, and advancing from the rank of Colony Governor towards the prestigious title of Expedition President. An in-depth sandbox mode with a variety of maps will also be available.

“We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with Team17 and bring Aven Colony to PS4 and Xbox One,” said Paul Tozour, founder of Mothership Entertainment in a press release. With Aven Colony currently available in beta on itch.io, the game is planned to launch on PC through Steam as well. “The itch.io beta has helped our tiny 4-person team engage with the community and grow the game signficantly as we build toward some big new features we plan to unveil in the coming  months.” Tozour continued.

Of the partnership, Debbie Bestwick, MBE, CEO of Team17 added, “As we continue our global expansion, we’ve spent a lot of time looking for the right partners and they’re definitely the right fit so we’re delighted that they are the second US team to join Team17’s games label.”

The Aven Colony beta is currently available on itch.io, with the full game set to launch on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC in Q2 2017. The announcement trailer can be found on Team17’s YouTube page.

Allison Road Cancelled

Allison Road Cancelled

Fans first got a taste for a different style of survival horror when Konami released its Silent Hills demo P.T. It sparked a renewed interest in the genre until the Japanese publisher cancelled the project. Still, fans looked forward to its spiritual successor Allison Road. Unfortunately on June 4, 2016, British developer Lilith, Ltd. announced they cancelled the project as well.

The statement came via the game’s official Twitter. While no details were given, the studio said more information is on the way in the coming weeks.

The title was funded through Kickstarter and developed by a small team. Its campaign was cut short after publisher Team17 picked up the concept after the title reached 4 482 backers. The only footage of the game is a pre alpha build video that’s just over 13 minutes , so there isn’t much to really go on.

Hopefully this doesn’t hurt the ten-person studio too badly, despite starting as a passion project, a lot of time and manpower went into developing this title.