One game that took standard gaming by storm was Overcooked, and until now we have not had anything like this in VR. This is where Resolution Game’s have stepped in with their latest title Cook-Out: A Sandwich Tale. We have now spent some time in the kitchen, but did it cook up a treat or a disaster?
Cook-Out: A Sandwich Tale brings both single player and multiplayer options, but the overall aim and gameplay stays the same on both these modes. In both modes the players will be placed in front of their own fridge and chopping board. Each persons fridge will include set ingredients, so you might not have everything you need to make the sandwiches yourself, this is were the team work comes in.
The only difference being in single player you will get a robot assistant, who you do need to crank-up during the level to keep it charged. Where in multiplayer you will have three other people doing the tasks, and to be honest this is where the game excels.
Different character types will come to the window and place their sandwich orders, with the ingredients for each persons sandwich being shown above their head and also a timer before they will leave. If it’s time for your ingredient to be added make sure you have taken it out of your fridge and got it chopped ready to place on the rotating plates in the centre of the workspace. Everyone in the game will also have access to ketchup, mayonnaise and pepper in-between their workstation to add when needed.
As mentioned you might get different characters visiting, and each of these characters will have different needs and requirements to meet. Be it a rat that won’t request much, a werewolf that will want a huge sandwich, a rabbit that wants everything done quickly or a cat which will only accept a perfect sandwich. With this in mind you will be given some potions as rewards or you can buy that will give you some benefits. These will allow you to do things like sharpen your knife, slow down time, replace any ingredient that is next on the order and make a sandwich perfect.
You might have noticed that I have mentioned a perfect sandwich a few times, if you place an ingredient off centre it wont be a perfect sandwich. If you do misplace an item, you can pick up the plate and remove the misplaced product and centre it – however, remember there is other orders waiting with time winding down.
As well as make the sandwiches to order, as you progress you will unlock extra tasks within your kitchen. You will get a grill, which of course will bring in grilled ingredients for the sandwiches. Then you will get a washing bowl, meaning you can clean the plates that are being returned before creating the new sandwiches.
Each of the levels comes with a star rating out of three, and you need to achieve at least one star to pass that level and unlock the next one. To gain stars these are locked behind tasks you have to carry out, these can come in the form of; serve every customer, make a set number of perfect sandwiches or serve all the sandwiches on clean plates, just to name a few. This is where prior planning can come into the game before you go into the next level, on what potions to take. These goals will also be shown in the kitchen above the customer window, with a percentage marker shown.
With the visual design the team have gone with a cartoon fairy-tale aesthetic, and considering you are working with a kitchen that is serving sandwiches to rats, werewolves and cats it works for the game. If you are playing on multiplayer the other players in the kitchen are represented by their Oculus avatar, and although they are a bit more life-like than the rest of the environment it still works. Overall we could not really find any real complaints on how the game look inside of the Quest.
For the base of the games sound, you are going to be hearing a lot chopping noise, the grill noise when grilling ingredients, the noise of the customers and some light background music, again this was all the really needed. The additional audio for multiplayer is brought in with the communication or shouting (depending on who you are playing with) between the players trying to get the sandwiches made.
The game can be played with standing or seated, and the worktop in front of you comes with a bar to move it up and down, so you can get it at the perfect height for you. With you also being static at the your work station it means the game will be comfortable for anyone.
Controls wise, the team have made them simple and quick to pick up, which was essential given the later levels become quite hectic – meaning you are not distracted by the controls at these points. One thing we were worried out with the inside-out-tracking was; with the fast movements needed for chopping would we sometimes loose tracking? – we are happy to report we had no issues with this.
The game comes with fifty-plus levels, but as previously mentioned in order to progress you need to achieve at least one star each round. This is still quite a lot of content for out of the gate, and if you want to score three stars on every level it will take some work. However, I can only see you being bothered about this if you are playing with friends – as I cannot imagine you wanting to do this with strangers on in single player mode. You will also get an endless mode, where you continue as long as you can, but, again you will probably only find longevity in this mode playing with others.
So, for us the games main pull is going to depend on the servers of the game staying populated, which we all know is not guaranteed in virtual reality – or having a group of players that are up for going back into the game with you.
reviewed using oculus quest
For the purposes of transparency, this review was created using a sample provided by the company or their respective PR company. The use of a press sample does not affect my judgement of the product.
Cook-Out: A Sandwich Tale brings a game like Overcooked to VR, which is a great mix. With plenty of content and goals spread across fifty plus levels. The gameplay starts of a little simple, but as more customer types and additional jobs come into the game it can start to become frantic – but still stays fun to play. The only real downfall we found with the game was, players are unlikely to stay engaged if playing in single player, and you are really going to get the full enjoyment out of the multiplayer mode. This then brings it down to you either having a group of friends to keep revisiting the kitchen with or hoping the servers will stay populated after it’s been out a while.