Overcooked puts the player into the shoes of two restaurant chefs at once. Each level is a kitchen, and your goal is to cook a list of meals following the onscreen recipes. The time is limited, and there are restrictions on how much money the player can spend on the ingredients. The player controls two characters that can be switched at any time or ordered to do a list of actions.
The kitchens are often set in the oddball places, such as a pirate ship, two speeding trucks, a pedestrian crosswalk, or an iceberg. The level elements are dynamic and may move or change during the gameplay. Tables and ovens can slide, and the cooks can fall off the level, though they will respawn shortly.
There’s a story mode in which cooking is tied to the plot. The game is set in the Onion Kingdom that was attacked by an insatiable spaghetti monster. The chefs travel back in time to refine their cooking skills and feed the monster when it appears again.
Since even in the single mode the player has to control two cooks, the game predictably has a co-op multiplayer and a competitive mode in which the players try to “outcook” each other. Both modes, however, are local, and there’s no online multiplayer.