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Too Many Cooks: The Chaotic Kitchens Of Overcooked

Spoiling the broth

Lurking in the RPS Tunnel Of Awesome (did we officially call it that?) at Rezzed was Overcooked [official site] – a co-op cooking game which has you work with other player-chefs to create delicious dishes in a chaotic kitchen.

I sort of wanted to get all of the RPS team in attendance – Adam, Jim, John and me – to play a round but given how competitive I get in Cook, Serve Delicious which I play ALONE maybe my employment would have been at risk.

Instead, I played with three strangers and then lurked like a cookery creeper to watch others.

I only played the tutorial so we spent our time making various soups. We were inexpert and panicky, pulling tomatoes and mushrooms and onions out of food bins and carrying them to chopping boards, slicing them into chunks and delivering the slices to pots atop a stove. After bubbling away the finished soup needed transporting to a bowl and then to the serving hatch.

Already I look back on our tutorial experience with a kind of feverish desire to optimise. People were taking longer routes around the kitchen than they needed to and completing a whole soup cycle themselves instead of dividing tasks up to form a kind of production line. Food was being served haphazardly and not prioritised according to wait times and, horrifically, NO-ONE WAS DOING THE WASHING UP.

How did we live like that?

The answer is: we kind of didn't – or at least we wouldn't have done for much longer as the entire top side of the kitchen ended up in flames thanks to a forgotten pot of tomatoey sludge.

But then I watched other people play. I have no idea if they were friends before the game or had just spent a while playing and developed a rhythm but they seemed to be making complicated things. Burgers. BURGERS. And they were dealing with a kitchen set on the deck of a ship which rearranged the work surfaces every so often as the waves rolled it from side to side.

These people were, in short, AWFUL SHOW-OFF JERKS and I would like to crush them into culinary insignificance with my mighty soup skills.

Overcooked will be out in "spring". I feel like it is spring right now so I guess they mean, like, sometime before June or something and not "when Pip deems spring to have sprung". More's the pity.

Here is this instead:

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About the Author

Philippa Warr


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