With Christmas just around the corner, I recently played a wonderful Christmas-themed party game: Overcooked – The Festive Seasoning, a recent expansion of the excellent party game Overcooked.
For those who have not heard of the Overcooked Franchise, the games consist of 1-4 players trying to save the Onion Kingdom by traversing a series of increasingly difficult levels requiring the players to cook a number of recipes, ranging from a simple salad, to complex roast dinners.
Yet just cooking variously complicated dishes would hardly make a wonderfully hilarious, and at times, incredibly aggravating, party game. Not only must players work together to create these dishes (yes, co-operation is absolutely crucial if you want to succeed in these games, something I wish I would have reminded my relatives of when making the attempt), but they must battle numerous obstacles. These include such things as the map rotating, different preparation benches slipping and sliding, and trying not to dash off of the edge of a slippery slab of ice. Perhaps my (least) favourite though, is to attempt to run a fully-functional kitchen across three constantly moving trucks.
The Festive Seasoning keeps all of these wacky mechanics, but with a fantastic Christmassy twist. Due to an internet discovery by Kevin, the Onion King’s dog (yes, it’s as crazy as it sounds, and it gets better), players are asked to investigate this newly discovered ‘festive season’ (something which would apparently be ‘the greatest food festival of all time’, according to Kevin the dog, who, by the way, never actually speaks, the Onion King just says he said this) as party of the Onion Kingdom’s ‘Cultural Outreach Programme’.
To do so, players must now work together to create fantastically festive dishes across eight brand-new, festive themed levels. Not only this, but like the base game, you can also unlock two brand new characters as you go, so on the off-chance you’ve become tired of playing as the Wheelchair Raccoon, or the grumpy-looking feline, you can now dash about the busy kitchen as either a Reindeer, or a Snowman! (How the snowman survives in a hot kitchen I’m not quite sure, but stop asking so many questions.) Also like the base game, this perfect festive expansion similarly contains numerous twists and turns. Players run into difficult maps shaped like mazes, spinning counters which could potentially trap unsuspecting players in a single corner of the map, and it introduces a tool to cook Turkey the ‘quick way’ – a flame-thrower, which absolutely makes fire safety a LOT harder; I’d definitely suggest keeping the Fire Extinguisher in a convenient, easy-to-reach place. Do this rather than what my relatives did, who seemingly decided to keep it in the most difficult to reach location possible, allowing our entire kitchen to catch on fire, and a subsequent level restart. If you want to play this game with your loved ones, be sure to keep reminding yourself that they’re your ‘loved ones’ as you play, as I assure you one or two people will try to do everything themselves, and consequently mess up the entire game. Try not to kill that person. (Even though they’d deserve it.)
This expansion is indeed a must-play for any already-established Overcooked fans, or anyone looking for a fun, light-hearted co-op game to play with friends and family. Though as a quick tip, make sure to do at least a few levels of the base game first before starting the expansion, as it comes with absolutely no tutorial, and is incredibly difficult for anyone new to the franchise. But don’t worry, if you forget, the Onion King will ask if you’ve completed the main game, before you set off into the new festive world. He’ll still let you leave… so if you want to go in blind, you’re more than welcome to, but take my word for it that that’s probably a very, very, bad plan, though potentially a hilarious idea…
So, if you are looking for a Christmas themed party game to play with your friends and family, or just a party-game in general, you should absolutely sharpen your chef’s knives and get cooking in this beautifully chaotic masterpiece!
Featured image and article image courtesy of Team 17 Software
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