Cake Bash, the latest party trick to come out of UK publisher Coatsink has finally exploded out of the oven and seems set grab us by the sweet tooth as we bite into our Cake Bash Review.
A First Whif
Developed by the indie team at High Tea Frog, Cake Bash is an unashamedly charming party game. Much like Coatsink’s Get Packed which debuted on Google Stadia, Cake Bash is a multiplayer party game that mixes in charming animation, simple ideas, a sprinkling of physics-based silliness, and a wicked competitive filling. Taking on all comers for the title of best cake in the batch, players picking up Cake Bash can expect to smash, grab, and bake their way through a range of mini-games in an effort to ensure that they are the best-dressed donut in the shop.
Looks As Good As It Tastes
Playing any video game in the guise of an animate bakery item, set to do battle against it’s baked brethren might sound a little twisted, but developer High Tea Frog lean heavy on the silliness here. The entire aesthetic of Cake Bash is built around a bunch of cute pastries with legs. Whether you’re a childish cupcake, a funny fondant fancy, or an over-excited eclair, the character design is simple yet utterly effective. Sweet little competitors spend their days stumbling around a range of arenas, arms seemingly etched in pen as if the entirety of Cake Bash is a figment of a bored child’s imagination, waiting in line to get an unsuspecting cake down their gullet.
The same cute eye follows through the rest of the game with experiences playing out across a range of outlandish arenas, form a bakery oven or the top of an oversized gateau. Everything from the cartoonish sound styling to the indecipherable mutterings of these conscious eclairs makes you almost want to lick the screen with excitement. Please, don’t do that.
Like any decent party game, Cake Bash contains a simple but deliciously simple set of instructions. Best played with a controller, Cake Bash barely uses more than three buttons and an analogue stick to get around. This doesn’t just make getting into the action quick and easy, it makes it intuitive enough that any poor soul sat on the couch can mix it up in this Gatea Royale. As you might have guessed, Cake Bash comes with local couch competition baked in, for you to really tick off the people you’re stuck indoors with, as well as a solo play style. However, the icing on top is the online mode where you can really go ham and adds plenty of new competitors for the evenings when you’ve battered your friends and a chicken dinner is just too savoury.
Just like in any good online arena battle, Cake Bash has a wide selection for gamers looking to get messy across a range of game modes. A standard game consists of four Cake Bashes, competitive scenarios where you can pummel pastry and try to come out on top, and three sticky skill based set of challenges. Exit the arena as the winning cake and you’ll get plenty of coin to spend on fancy reward. Between these confectionary conflicts sits the opportunity to reward yourself with a range of toppings from the in-game shop. between each Cake Bash and mini-game players can pick up anything from parasols to bumblebees, or fondant frog faces to plaster all over your iced exterior. It’s all silly yet cute, even as you plug in cake pop toppings to your cream filled friend onscreen. In the end, the goal is to look the most fabulous and these spiffing decorations will inevitably decide who is the best cake, after a few rounds.
It’s All About The Decoration
The utter simplicity behind Cakebash is ultimately why it tends to succeed. With easy to understand controls and a series of short but cute encounters, cake bash has plenty of latitude to play with quirky ideas that don’t ever have the opportunity to go off. A range of backdrops like counter top hobs, beaches, bakery shops, outdoor tabletops, and more rotate in as the backdrop to a range of silly scenarios and keep the casual consumer form getting sick of the flavour. Whether you’re trying to pick up and run around with a sparkler on the beach or gather up sweets while your opponents try to burn your smoreish interiors to a crisp on a cooker, the mix of ideas feels sufficiently broad enough that this variety box of mini-games rarely repeats themselves throughout each bout of cake combat.
Each of the mini games filled in between the main layers of action, work as a great pallet cleanser to the cake vs cake action of the main Cake Bash. These skill-based ‘Get Tasty’ challenges can find you stacking a tower of wobbly ice cream or toasting marshmallows by a campfire before burning to a crisp. A total of 5 main games are available to play through and 8 of the ‘Get Tasty’ mini games are on offer to devour. This might not sound like much but the potential number of different combinations is impressive. Even better, High Tea Frog keeps the action short and sweet at only a few minutes per stage, meaning there’s always a new opportunity to outshine your friends and loved ones just around the corner.
New And Exciting Flavours
Assuming you want to be the last flan standing more than once then Cake Bash doesn’t force you to inflict bitter defeat on your family members and friends indefinitely. The online mode, Steam’s remote play together support, and single-player action provides an escape from the taste of local victory and allow players to dip into a range of new flavours. A limited form of progression plays out in Cake Bash, with achievements unlocking new cake skins and different stages available to replay at your leisure after you bash through them for the first time. This all provides a modicum of progression, although it feels somewhat limited and the default character cakes are cute enough that I didn’t feel any of the in-game achievements were particularly compelling. However, these do exist and for some of you that will be enough to dive in, just don’t expect it to take you to long to start chewing through most of the in game unlocks.
The Taste Test
After sugar rushing headlong into Cake Bash last weekend, it’s clear that the latest from Coatsink is meant to be a snack, not a full course meal. If you’re looking for a large scale engrossing multiplayer arena brawler then this isn’t for you. Cake Bash is a party game pure and simple. It’s designed to be easy to pick up but utterly engaging while you play it. The range of silly arenas found us smacking eclairs across garden tables while a hungry pigeon snacked on unfortunate fondants. I eagerly whacked my partner with a lollipop all to stop them filling a trifle bowl full of fruit, and I burned my flan more than a few times. The entire idea of Cake Bash is ludicrous and far from complex but the execution is top tier. Cake Bash is a flawlessly fun party game that would make any master patisserie proud. My only real complaint for the head chef, if I could find one, is that this is a snack rather than a family-sized assortment. If you are ready to taste victory in then head won to the local high street, avoid the chain store bakery and try out something a little more wholesome when Cake Bash serves up action on Xbox One, Playstation 4, Steam, Stadia. Check out more about Cake Bash over on the official website now.