What's more fun than playing video games with friends? Screaming obscenities at them because they keep putting dirty dishes in the way when you're trying to serve a room full of hungry customers, of course. At least, that's what's fun in Overcooked 2, the sequel to Ghost Town Games' excellent co-op cooking simulation game. Its sequel broke many a relationship apart this year when it debuted in August, serving up discontent and letting friends and family see just how much they can rely on their loved ones when it comes to wacky cooking situations.
Overcooked 2, the Shacknews best co-op game of 2018, is a true test of being just how well both players can listen as teams of up to four players cooperatively work to prepare and cook orders in a variety of different and occasionally weird locations. Players chop, slice, dice, boil, fry, serve up ingredients, place them on places, give them to customers, then collet the dishes to wash them and do it all over again. Much of it's done via conveyor belt, and these short orders can be incredibly frustrating to put together. The cooking process is collaborative, so you both have to coordinate your plan of attack and approach things in a manner that you know will work for the both of you (since two players is the sweet spot.)
You can either totally get into your friends and loved ones' way, or you can enhance their cooking experience. Working together isn't the only obstacle you have to deal with, either, as you're consistently forced to deal with obstacles like burning lava, your entire kitchen being split in half and moving, moving walkways, portals, and even people walking straight through the cooking prep area. You never know what's coming from one level to the next, and Overcooked 2 introduced a whole selection of things meant to change up the game and keep you on your toes. Ingredient tossing was a big change for the game, where players could throw ingredients over to others to help keep the flow of things moving.
It all works out to a beautiful, hilarious, and sometimes endlessly frustrating cacophony of sight and sound that just feels like a party every time you boot it up. It's fun solo, or with an entire room full of friends, and it's perfect for on the go play, especially with Nintendo Switch owners. You won't find a better co-op experience this year, and if you need a friendship litmus test, well, here you go.