“Put the pot on the stove, noton the ground!”
“No, it’s there because I’m chopping onions!”
I really hate cooking. Sure, you could point out that I probably hate it because I never practice, I refuse to follow recipes, and I think timers are for people with low self-confidence. But I would argue that cooking just sucks. It’s boring and time-consuming, and regularly causes me physical injury.
With that in mind, I’m sure you would agree, dear reader, that no significant other of mine should ever suggest cooking as a “fun thing to do together.” But, alas. My boyfriend of nearly two years, Chandler, suggested such a thing months ago and, of course, I had… the best time?
Yes, it was a shock to me too. And no, I didn’t magically turn the corner on seasoning and sautéing.
Instead of fighting in the kitchen, the two of us burned through hours and hours of a cooperative restaurant game called Overcooked! and had one of the best date nights in our relationship’s history.
Here’s a rundown on the game you should be playing this weekend.
When starting in on Ghost Town Games’ cooperative cooking simulation, you will almost certainly notice first how freaking cute everything is.
The environments range from spooky haunted houses to rickety pirate ships and each comes with its own unique set of obstacles. (I’m telling you. That ice was extra slippery and those penguins were intentionally distracting!)
As you play through the overarching storyline and master levels, you gain access to new characters. Whenever Chandler and I play, I am always the orange cat (because it matches my actual orange cat, Kirby) and he is always the raccoon (because it is the most adorable raccoon you have ever seen.)
What’s more, even the food is delightful. I’m not joking—look how preciously disproportionate it is!
Movies and TV are great entertainment options for when you two need to do some passive hand holding. Overcooked! is for when you want to yell about not letting your fake pizza burn.
Because of its cooperative, puzzle structure, Overcooked! forces you to actively talk to your gaming partner and solve levels together. Whether it’s dashing around making dishes separately or passing items through a space-age teleportation device (yeah, things get weird), you will be constantly engaged in quality time with your cooking buddy—or buddies, since Overcooked! accommodates one to four players at a time.
I’m not saying you and your significant other will reap all the same benefits from Overcooked! that you might get from meeting with a professional. But there is a good chance you will feel closer after playing for a few hours.
You aren’t solving any big problems together, but beating levels as a team feels genuinely good. It’s not often you have an excuse to high five IRL.
Plus, frustrating moments can really bond you. For example, another couple Chandler and I know finished Overcooked! way before we did because we had no idea that there was a sprint button. Yup. Every level is timed and we were just strolling around like adorable little slugs with nowhere to be.
In August, Ghost Town Games released a sequel to the original that has since received tons of positive reviews.
The best part? (Obviously, besides that adorable raccoon being back.) Overcooked! 2 added an online multiplayer feature. So, if you and your sous chef of choice are stuck in a LDR, a night of digital cooking could make for some much needed quality time.
Candlelit dinners, nights at the theater, and strolls through Central Park are great for cinematic relationships. But sometimes real-life couples just need to throw on their sweats, flop on the couch, and goof around.
This delightful little cooking game is perfect for those times. Whether it’s with a significant other or a friendly roommate, you need to get yourself (and at least one friend) in on the culinary madness.