Overcooked

This frantic game of kitchen co-operation is farcical couch co-op at its finest.

Spotlight

Overcooked, the fantastic local co-op game about running a kitchen and shouting at your pals, eventually secured an age rating of 'E for Everyone' in the US, but a cheeky little bum on its logo almost had this family-friendly title slapped with a more mature recommendation.

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The ID@Xbox self-publishing program might be Xbox One's crowning glory at the time of writing, boasting 450 titles that have notched up well over a billion hours of play, but it could do with a crown jewel. The service has seen its share of critical darlings, from Superhot to Inside, but many of its best games are multiplatform, and many of its "exclusives" appear on PCs as well - part of a much-vaunted push towards device agnosticism that often feels like it's more in the service of Windows 10 than Xbox.

Overcooked launches on disc today with The Lost Morsel expansion

Overcooked launches on disc today with The Lost Morsel expansion

Extra levels and chefs served up separately next month.

Culinary couch co-op game Overcooked is now available to buy in a box with an extra helping of content included.

Overcooked: Gourmet Edition arrives hot out the oven for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One today, and marks the game's first physical launch.

The super-sized serving also includes a side-plate of DLC named The Lost Morsel which adds six extra levels and six new chefs to unlock over a fresh jungle-set map.

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Overcooked review

I've never really understood or liked Gordon Ramsay. It might be his arrogant demeanour, maybe it's the way he looks like the missing third Vreski brother from Die Hard - now I have a garlic crusher, ho ho ho. Whatever it is, I've never really got what makes him so popular. Having played Overcooked, however, I feel I've had something of a breakthrough on my (admittedly neglected) quest to understand what it is to be Gordon Ramsay; namely, it's far easier to get people to do things for you in a busy kitchen if you never stop shouting or swearing.

Overcooked is a local co-op game for up to four players with ludicrously simple controls and an innate ability to make me curse like a sailor. You run around with an analogue stick, pick up and put things down with one button and chop things with another (up to two players can play on one controller, incidentally, which is brilliant). Orders trickle into the kitchen at the top of the screen, indicating what recipe you ought to be following next - depending on the level, this could be anything from onion soup or burgers to fish and chips or burritos. In order to get the coveted three-star rating on each level, you and your fellow chefs must work together to prioritise different tasks and prepare dishes in an efficient, professional manner. Needless to say, it's utter chaos.

It's not so much that you're struggling against a strict time limit in Overcooked - you are - but more that you're struggling against the other chefs in the kitchen. The adage with Overcooked is not so much 'too many cooks spoil the broth' as 'too many cooks apparently think it's fine to slap you out the way and make you drop that beef patty because they decided washing up that one dirty plate was definitely more important than dealing with the fact there are no burgers cooking whatsoever right now when we're about to fail two orders for taking too long, you absolute cretin.' When success in each level hinges on synchronising a multitude of smaller component tasks - chopping vegetables, cooking meat, putting out fires - every second counts, and it only takes the careless action of one pig-headed chef to throw everything into disarray.

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Food's alright really, isn't it? It tastes nice, stops us from dying and helps keep TV chefs from getting into trouble - let's face it, Gordon Ramsay would just be an angry man yelling in a bus shelter if it weren't for the food industry.