Team 17 have revealed that Overcooked 2 will be hitting our consoles on August 7th.
The Onion Kingdom is in peril again and this time it is the fault of the Onion King himself! Reading aloud from the fabled Necronomnomicon, he has cooked up a real problem in the form of a doughy but dangerous army of UNDEAD BREAD called…The Unbread! The Onion King needs you, so chop, fry and bake your way through an all new series of crazy kitchens to defeat them and save the kingdom.
New features for Overcooked 2 include:
Online multiplayer! For the first time you can cook up a storm with up to four players in both local and online multiplayer
Throwing! Throwing is now an official game mechanic, allowing you to toss ingredients to your fellow chefs or even straight into the pan/blender/onto the floor
New level mechanics! Overcooked 2 sees the introduction of new game mechanics including moving walkways, controllable platforms and even portals!
Dynamic levels! Throwing you from the frying pan and into the fire, dynamic levels will change around you, offering a new challenge to overcome as the recipes and levels themselves change!
Interactive world map! As you drive, sail and soar your way around the map in the Onion King’s amphibious air bus you will open up new areas using hidden buttons around the world
Kitchens! From the neon lights of a sushi restaurant to the bubbling pots of a Wizard school kitchen, there are plenty of places to cook up a storm in Overcooked 2!
Recipes! From spaghetti to sushi and pancakes to pizza, recipes both old and new will need to be cooked to perfection (or at least not burnt to a crisp!) New recipes mean new ingredients and new equipment so even the most well-seasoned Overcooked players will be challenged.
Chefs! Overcooked 2 introduces a whole host of new of chefs to play in the kitchen including an eagle, mouse, beaver and what kitchen is complete without an octopus!
This will be getting some stream time on the site, can you imagine the arguments!?
Yoku’s Island Express combines pinball mechanics, platforming and adventure in a remarkably compelling and enjoyable package. Think Sonic Spinball meets Dizzy. Pinball flippers help you guide the dung beetle protagonist and his attached ball of dung around a diverse island environment. Meanwhile, the tale of a new postman unravels as you roll and crawl around the island dropping off mail in post boxes and otherwise helping the denizens of this remote land, a land steeped in mystery and lore. It’s fantastically entertaining and intriguing.
Indeed, it’s a clever melding of mechanics that works so well because of excellent level design. Starting on the beach you make your way through a forest, up in to the tree canape, a snow-covered mountain, a dusty desert and the dark, damp depths, all the while aiding the creatures you encounter and fulfilling your new role as the postman for the island. Crawling gets you across the flat areas but pinball flippers, and later an ingeniously appropriate fast travel system, handle the rest.
The right and left bumpers activate the blue and orange flippers you find to launch you up to new levels of elevation or propel you through tunnels and caves. It’s broken down into short walking sections, quick flipper propelled transitions to new areas, and full-blown pinball setups. Moreover, by progressing with the main story, as well as the personal stories of the denizens, you unlock more areas of the well-sized island play-area. Through new items, relationships with NPCs, and the currency of fruit you collect, new paths open up, allowing you to explore further.
As such, there’s also some Metroidvania backtracking to this style of exploration and unlocking of new abilities. Early on there are plenty of teases of collectables blocked by barriers that you can return to and collect later, and thanks to opportunities to spend your fruit to buy maps that mark the location of these collectables, you’ll seldom lose them entirely, although the map does fail to show you accurately what has and hasn’t been collected until you pass a save point and sometimes not until you approach that area.
Navigating to them, however, can be tricky. Despite a fast travel system being introduced in the later stages of the adventure it’s limited to where it can take you. The depths of the island are particularly difficult to get to and can lead to some frustration as you search far and wide for the right path. However, the island is also full of secret areas, ones that tend to reveal themselves during this practise of searching for the right path. It’s level of frustrating on you will largely depend on your sense of reward from these little secrets.
The main story and your other interactions with the flora and fauna cast is charming and very reminiscent of Dizzy titles. Largely you’ll be sent on fetch quests, but this feels perfectly appropriate considering your postman duties. Some more unique requests also crop up that take some extra thought, but they’re intuitive enough to fuel your intrigue and need to explore rather than truly task your grey matter. And indeed, there are plenty of things to keep you busy. The island is truly packed with content. This does mean that it’s a busy environment, but for the most part you’re kept to the critical path as the main story unfold, only afterwards does the island truly become open to you.
Indeed, if you enjoyed the 2D adventure games of yore then Yoku’s Island Express is ideal to scratch that itch, the addition of pinball mechanics for the majority of the movement is a lovely bonus. Moreover, it works splendidly, with the physics doing a bang-up job of making the pinball sections feel just right. They require some pinball wizardry too, with marks to hit and a timer to be wary of, largely in the form of exploding snails attached to your ball of dung, it’s terrific fun, a fairly unique melding of mechanics, and full of charm and smart design.
If you are an avid reader of reviews on the site you may have noticed that my last review, of Constructor HD, was not the most glowing review I have ever wrote, and I struggled with my own conscience throughout, questioning whether the reason I didn’t enjoy it was due to the type of game it was. I mean, I don’t usually play those types of games. But, playing Aven Colony has made me realise that my thoughts of Constructor were probably correct, as I had a ball playing Aven Colony!
Aven Colony was originally released on the PC in 2016, and is now getting a console release. The game puts you in charge of humanity’s first space settlement on Aven Prime, an alien planet of deserts, tundras, and jungles light years from earth. Developed by Mothership Games and published by Team 17, Aven Colony requires the player to “Build the infrastructure, look after the well-being of your citizens, manage your resources, and guide your colony to prosperity — all while dealing with the harsh and often dangerous realities of an alien world.”So, to put in simply, it’s Sim City in space. That might be doing the game a disservice, as I haven’t played a Sim City game in a while, so I don’t know how that game has evolved since over time.
Aven Colony features two game modes, Campaign and Sandbox. I kicked off my experience with the game by getting stuck into the campaign. The first two missions are tutorials that teach you the basics of the game, which involves how to build, how to read and interpret the stats, and how to use the overlay and colony rules menus. I always feel this genre of game, with all its menus, are too complex, but I was pleasantly surprised that it is very easy to pick up. Once into the first main campaign, you realise that Aven Colony does a fantastic job of guiding you along (without holding your hand) by giving you targets. In turn, these targets drive the colony forward by fulfilling its basic needs, and when you have finally got to grips with these needs you have realised that the missions have turned into challenging gameplay targets.
So, what do you need to create a thriving colony on an alien planet? Well, lets start with the basics. Water, Food, Air and Electricity. These are all provided at a basic level by building water pumps, farms, air filters and wind turbines. Everything that you build uses Nanites, and these are obtained from mining, which is the other essential need in the game. Dotted around the landscape are areas where natural resources can be identified, such as Iron and Gold, and by building a mine on these areas you gather the resources for your colony. Once you are up and running with the basics you find yourself building structures to keep these basic needs addressed before you are prompted, in order to maintain a safe and happy environment.
Once the basics are in place, the player can then start building and expanding as they see fit. The majority of buildings can be upgraded and you can start building bars, retail outlets, trade ports, museums, police drone stations, etc. Keeping the population happy is the key to success. As soon as they become unhappy they will let you know, and you will receive notifications, for example if the food supply becomes too low, which in turn will prompt you to upgrade a farm, build a new one, or set a trade route to import food in return for building materials. Overlays are an important part of keeping the population healthy, as they allow you to troubleshoot the colony as a whole entity. For example, one shows the air quality, and you can easily find areas where this has dropped below a safe level, so you can use this to decide the best places to build new fans and filters to improve those areas. There are overlays covering all the important needs, morale, electricity, crime, etc.
So, the goal of Aven Colony is to keep the population healthy and happy whilst also expanding the colony. Check out the video below for a demonstration of the basics of the game, recorded on the second main mission.
But thats not all. Being a colony on an alien planet has its downsides. Alien spores, Creeper spores and Toxic Gas are all ready to strike at any point. You can defend against these by building plasma turrets and creeper drone stations. One hint for you as well, build air filters instead of intake fans to prevent your colony from getting infested by airborne spores. There is an achievement for infecting 50 colonists at the same time, which I got!
Graphically Aven Colony looks fantastic. The camera can be moved anywhere around the colony, and can be zoomed right out to see an overview, and equally zoomed right in to see in close detail. When zoomed in, the detail of the various parts of the colony is superb, and gets right into the detail of the individual colony member. The audio is just as good, and again, you are able to listen to the workers protests when they get unhappy. Clicking on a colony member also gives you details about them, with a brief audio snippet of them saying hello!
As you progress through there is a story that links all the missions together. Each mission throws a different scenario at you, for example one of them has you starting on a world with very limited farming resource, so you immediately need to build a trade hub in order to get food for your colonists. Another sees a world where you have abundant farming resource but virtually no natural resource for mining. Aven Colony is challenging but it is not too difficult as to feel like you’re out of control with your colony, even when a disaster is looming. You can increase and decrease the game speed and you can also pause it when you are looking at your stats, which I found very helpful!
This review has been written as I have played 6 of the 11 campaign missions, with the first two being tutorials. My total game time at this point is 14 hours, so I can envisage at least another 20 to finish the campaign, which on a game genre like this is pretty amazing. And thats without even touching the Sandbox mode. And, returning to my comments about my Constructor review, where I said the reason I didn’t like it was that I didn’t enjoy playing it. Well, I love playing Aven Colony and I will continue to play long after this review is published. The difference is in the campaign missions, where it gives you a challenging and worthwhile goal to achieve, although these are not clear when the mission starts!
On a downside I did come across some slowdown of the game later in each mission, where the colony had evolved to be fairly large, and this slowdown occured when I put on an overlay to check the air quality. Maybe it just needs a patch, and considering I am playing a pre-release version it may be addressed before release. But, its not a game breaker, just an annoyance. Its hard to really pinpoint any other faults. It might not be hard enough for some experienced players, but for me it was fine. There are of course higher difficulty levels to Aven Colony for those who require more of a challenge!
The much anticipated Yooka-Laylee is finally here and it has made platforming fun again. When it was first announced that Playtonic Games, made of team behind Banjo-Kazooie were beginning a kickstarter to produce a new game, the Internet lapped it up and the funds were secured within days. Despite the delay on the game I can assure you it’s been worth the wait.
Yooka, a green lizard and Laylee a purple bat begin the game relaxing and discussing what could come from a magic book they had discovered, little do they know of the adventure that awaits them.
In a suspicious looking factory not too far away are Captain B and Duck who are hatching plans to steal every book in the world, but most importantly they are after the one in Yooka-Laylee’s possession. Page by page they manage to steal the book and it’s up to our dynamic duo to get the pages back.
There are five worlds to discover, each with their own theme. To unlock them you’ll need to find ‘Paiges’ by completing tasks, solving puzzles and exploring every inch of the different worlds. Each world can be expanded, bringing new discoveries your way, again you’ll need more pagies to do this.
Each world is fantastic, you’ll have already seen plenty about Tribalstack Tropics. and some about the Glittergaze Glacier but it’s the later worlds that stand out for me, my particular favourite being Capital Cashino, a huge casino that will see you collecting tokens which can be cashed in for pagies. You’ll spend plenty of time exploring again, but this world is made up of lots of mini games for you to take part in. There is a Mini Golf game, Jackpot machines to play and plenty more. Moodymaze Marsh, Galleon Galaxy and Hivory Towers are all great too. Each world has a boss for you to try and beat too, but be prepared for a fight!
What I love about each world is that if you can see an area in the distance you can explore it, you just need to work out how to get there or make use of one of your unlocked abilities to help you get there. For example, later on in the game Laylee will be able to pick Yooka up and fly him to wherever you need to go. Every ability is restricted by how much power you have available.
To unlock abilities you spend a lot of time talking to my One of my favourite characters in the game. His name is Trowzer, he is a snake and it just happens that he wears a pair of trousers. Despite his Del-Boy like attitude he is very useful to you. Every Time you open up a new world he will give you a free move that will help you progress further through the game. He’ll also be waiting for you in each world to sell you new moves for a number of quills.
The abilities range from being able to breath underwater, allowing you to reach new areas deep down, to giving Laylee the power to pick up Yooka and fly him for as long as the power bar lasts. Keeping your power bar full is simply a matter of eating butterflies. It’s not just abilities that you can use, a vending machine names Vendi let’s you purchase tonics that can modify various parts of the game for you. These modifiers range from giving you extra health to turning the game into a 64-bit mode. The clever bit is how you unlock them, some are simple, you may have to collect a certain amount of quills or stun a number of enemies. Some however will be unlocked through guesswork, there are a few I’m still struggling with.
Arcade fans will be pleased to hear that you’ll be able to play some games on arcade cabinets to win paigies. All you need to do is visit Rextro, a dinosaur desperate for friends, and a brain. Find a coin to play and attempt to beat the high scores. There are racing games, shooters and even runner games. Search around and you’ll find an arcade full of them to practice on.
The freedom you have in Yooka-Laylee allows you to play exactly how you want. For instance, having spoken to Greg who is reviewing for someone else (don’t read his review) we had played around the same amount of time earlier on yet I had managed to discover completely different things to him.
I struggled to find things I didn’t like about the game, except for the camera. It’s pretty annoying, it seems to have a mind of its own at times making some more of the simple things difficult.
Really though, that was it. Yooka-Laylee is the definition of fun platforming for me. It doesn’t hold your hand, it encourages you to explore, make sure you do because you’ll discover so much. Fun characters, great puzzles and lots of great humour. It looks greats, I can’t get the soundtrack out of my head and I’m determined to find every last collectable in the game, I encourage you to do the same.
I’m a big fan of management titles, so the idea of managing a new colony on an alien planet, as is the premise of Aven Colony, sounds right up my street.
And fortunately, Team 17 will be publishing Mothership Entertainment’s colony building management sim on Xbox One in the second quarter of this year.
Set on Aven Prime, an alien world of deserts, tundras and wetlands light-years from Earth, Aven Colony is a rich simulation of an extra-terrestrial colony. Build, customise and maintain your settlement, manage your resources, encounter a variety of alien life forms and look after your citizens – all while dealing with the challenges of life in an entirely new solar system. Will your plucky settlers survive and prosper on this exotic alien world, and uncover its many secrets?
Featuring a dedicated mission objective system which gradually introduces colony management during the campaign mode, Aven Colony welcomes and enables both novice and experienced players alike to acclimatise to life on Aven Prime. Advance from Colony Governor through the ranks to achieve the prestigious title of Expedition President. There’s also an in-depth sandbox mode with a variety of unique maps to choose from and a full suite of options to customize the game experience.
We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with Team17 and bring Aven Colony to PS4 and Xbox One,
said Paul Tozour, founder of Mothership Entertainment.
Team17 shares our values and our passion for serving the customer. The itch.io beta has helped our tiny 4-person team engage with the community and grow the game significantly as we build toward some big new features we plan to unveil in the coming months. The Team17 partnership will help us grow that community even further and allow us to serve console customers in a way that we could never have done alone.
Debbie Bestwick, MBE, CEO of Team17 added,
The talented team at Mothership Entertainment have been incredibly focused on delivering a solid, fun and unique city-building experience with Aven Colony. As we continue our global expansion, we’ve spent a lot of time looking for the right partners and they’re definitely the right fit so we’re delighted that they are the second US team to join Team17’s games label. We’re excited to work with them and contribute our wealth of expertise in bringing the game to PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4, as Mothership Entertainment have created such a fantastic game that deserves to be shared far and wide.
Yooka-Laylee’s release is only a few months away, and we’re getting pretty excited for this 3D platformer. And now we have a better idea of what Yooka-Laylee’s multiplayer will entail, thanks to a multiplayer reveal trailer.
Looks like the multiplayer will offer a host of mini-games for local play with up to four players, or solo competing for high scores. We can’t wait.
In case you don’t know what it is, Overcooked is a hectic team based cooking themed game that tests you and your friends ability to work quickly and as a team. Released earlier this year Overcooked has been greeted with open arms however, as it’s nearly time for the fat bearded fella to arrive it’s only right that a Christmas themed DLC is released.
Ghost Town Games and Team 17 have gone all out spreading Christmas cheer as this DLC won’t cost you a penny. The Festive Seasoning DLC will offer up eight new co-op levels to master, two new chefs to play as and shout at, new recipes and a new way to cook using the flamethrower!
The Festive Seasoning DLC includes:
8 new co-op levels set in the new Winter Lodge theme
2 new chefs to unlock, the snowman and reindeer
2 new recipes to dish up, Turkey Dinner and Stew
A new way to cook recipes, the flamethrower!
Santa hats for your chefs
A brand new wintery world map, complete with a snowmobile to get around with
The Festive Seasoning DLC will be available as a free download for Xbox One and PC on the 6th December.
The 2015 multi million selling indie smash by Team 17 is to have a sequel. The Escapists 2 has been revealed at this years Twitchcon and see’s a number of improvements to the popular sandbox title.
As you can see from the video no stone has been unturned, the sequel will include:-
· Multiplayer – In a first for the series, The Escapists 2 offers drop-in/drop-out play offering both split screen and online play for up to four players in both co-op and versus modes
· New ways to escape – Tie together knotted sheets and use them to climb down high windows in our new multi-level prisons and other new ways to make a break for freedom!
· New items to craft – Build yourself a homemade taser to knock out guards plus many more!
· New combat system – A completely revamped combat system featuring new lock-on targeting and blocking systems plus light and heavy attacks
· New graphical style – A brand new look immerses players in a deeper, richer world while maintaining that unique The Escapists style
· More character customisation – New customisation options let players tweak their avatar to a whole new level. Play as a girl! Go bald! Sport a mullet! The choice is yours
· More things to do – Join a band! Learn to paint! The Escapists 2 will offer more ways than ever to pass the time whilst incarcerated
A quote taken from Moldy Toof Studio’s founder Chris Davies says ““I’m thrilled to be working with my friends at Team17 again to bring this new chapter of The Escapists to life,The Escapists 2 takes everything the fans loved from the first game and adds in so many new additions and features on top. I can’t wait to see what the fans think!”
If all goes to plan it looks like The Escapists 2 could be a successful followup from the first, if you haven’t played the first game then stayed tuned because it is coming to Games with Gold this month. The Escapists 2 is due for release in 2017.
Kickstarter has been the starting gun sound for quite a few success stories. It looks like Team17 and Playtonic Games may have hit upon another in the form of lovable platformers, Yooka-Laylee. The pair have been introduced to the EGX crowd with a brand new trailer, highlighting some of the characters that will be available in the game when it is released in the early part of 2017.
Yooka-Laylee is the product of over 100 combined years of games developing over at Playtonic. This 3D platform adventure will use an arsenal of special abilities to explore and expand several gorgeous locations, filled with collectibles, secrets and a cast of quirky characters to meet of defeat. Listed in the new trailer, below, are the following madcap folk.
Capital B – Cunning bizziness executive, Capital B, is the CEO of diabolical corporation, Hivory Towers. This has recently joined forces with the ingenious tech firm, Quack Corp. Together they are about to launch their most devious scheme yet, to absorb all of the world’s books and take over the world.
Trowzer – The serpent salesman claims to be the most skilled and knowledgeable character in the game, though Laylee suspects he’s little more that a dodgy dealer. Throughout Yooka-Laylee, you will be able to visit Trowzer and buy advanced moves.
Dr. Quack – The former partner of Dr. Puzz, Quack’s increasingly wild experiments lead him down the path of corruption. Now fully clad in a not-so-hi-tech ‘biosuit’, the ‘good’ doctor uses his expertise to power up Hivory Towers’ Corplet employees.
Dr. Puzz – A hapless scientist who’s experienced more than her share of tentacle, erm, technical issues. Dr. Puzz will use her D.N.Ray to transform Yooka and Laylee
Also appearing in this trailer is a special guest. Playtonic have teamed up with Yacht Club Games to bring none other than Shovel Knight to Yooka-Laylee.
Have a look at the trailer below and reminisce over the 3D platforming fun. It reminds me of many titles from older platforms already.
It turns out too many chefs doesn’t ruin the broth; Overcooked proves that the more chefs you have the more fun you can have. But can this delightfully deranged arcade cook-a-thon satisfy your hunger or is it a mere snack?
In Overcooked you are tasked with preparing a multitude of dishes for hungry customers. You must dash around a variety of kitchens, collecting ingredients, chopping, cooking, plating, serving and cleaning dishes to the whim of customers with particular cravings, scoring more stars depending on how quickly and accurately you serve up your dishes.
It sounds so simple, and indeed the concept is, but in execution it turns out to be anything but. Organising your cooking method to efficiently create your meals is a unique challenge to overcome, one made more difficult by the absurd kitchens you have to cook in. What starts as ordinary kitchens, where learning their layout is your biggest challenge, soon turns into crazy scenarios, such as two trucks with half the kitchen in each, speeding down a road and only crossable during small windows of alignment. It offers a special brand of insanity that’s wonderfully humourous to play within and equally difficult to overcome.
It’s a pleasant surprise to see what concoction of kitchen chaos is presented in each level, and achieving the full three stars is a satisfying goal. Moreover, just as you think you’ve seen all kinds of layouts, new challenges are introduced, such as rats that steal ingredients. But even on the most ordinary of kitchens there’s still plenty to keep you occupied. Performing all the aforementioned tasks swiftly and efficiently is made all the more interesting by having to watch for food burning on the stove and fires blazing as a result, requiring a blast from a fire extinguisher to quell it.
On your own you control two chefs, able to switch between them at the press of a button and share out the tasks. But Overcooked is by far the most enjoyable when you have a friend or three join in for some local multiplayer. Organising your group of chefs requires constant communication and quickly leads to a room full of people shouting for vegetables, meat and plates, or screaming about fire amongst panicked hollering as things get hectic. It’s delightfully entertaining. Additionally you can play competitively, which offers a fun but fleeting experience, cooperative play is certainly the better bet.
On your own however, Overcooked is still a lot of fun. It feels like a very different game, one that’s far less hectic and silly and more of an odd puzzle experience as you try to manage the two chefs so that one isn’t idle for too long.
Unfortunately the multiplayer mayhem is restricted to local play, although it’s certainly well suited to this style, making it hard to fault. It even supports the shared controller method of yore where two players can use each side of a controller. Indeed, as one mistake can send the whole kitchen into disarray and get everybody shouting, local play certainly offers the better experience, although having the option for online would still of been appreciated, and may come in the future.
Driving your group of chefs in their quest to chaotically create meals is a wonderfully ridiculous story. The Onion King and his dog, Kevin, have summoned you to satiate the appetite of The Ever Peckish, a giant spaghetti monster. The collection of crazy levels acts as your training grounds. It’s a simple, odd and amusing way to set the scene that does a tremendous job of setting the silly tone right from the get-go, along with its cute, comical art style.
Indeed, Overcooked offers a terrifically fast paced, multiplayer focused experience, with an incredible variety of levels with additional challenges beyond the primary mechanics, such as icy surfaces you can slip on or ghosts moving things. Meanwhile, a well thought-out single player component keeps things entertaining when you don’t have a room full of friends to cook with.
Thanks to Xbox and Ghost Town Games and Team17 for supporting TiX