Have you ever played a video game that makes you hungry before? Well if you haven’t let me introduce you to one that likely will. Cake Bash is a frantic four-player party game from publisher Coatsink and developer High Tea Frog where you play as a variety of sweets to see who can be the tastiest treat left on the plate.
The general idea behind Cake Bash is simple: up to four players pick a sweet to play as and battle it out in a variety of mini-games to see who can be the best one. The game supports local and online play so it’s a wonderful treat to get some friends in the same room or far away together and play with. The game has tons of charm behind it and that is very apparent when picking your character. There are seven main sweets to play as at first including Ringo who is a donut with pink glaze on it and Chip who is a chocolate chip muffin. As you play and complete certain objectives you can unlock different skins for each character each with their own name. All of the characters play the same but they are animated well and seeing their faces turn from looking very sweet to very mean when they slap the crumbs off another player is funny.
There are two main modes you can play called Get Tasty and Recipe. Recipe lets you pick any mini-game and arena that you’ve unlocked and play. Get Tasty is the main mode where you play through quite a few rounds to see who can get the most sweets on them at the end to be crowned the winner and eaten by a customer. I should also mention that you can play everything in this game solo and compete against AI bots if you choose but you won’t really be challenged. While they can put up a good fight in some rounds overall, they are a pushover once you know what you’re doing in the game and because of that solo players will likely get bored quite fast.
The Get Tasty mode follows the same pattern of rounds every time you play it. You start off with a Bash round of which there are five different ones. In a Bash round players attack each other while trying to complete a task. For instance, one of the five types is a round where you have to be the player with the most sprinkles on you at the end. The sprinkles will pour into the arena and by walking over them they get attached to you. If another player hits you or you’re hit by something else you’ll lose some and they can pick them up. Another one has the players trying to throw as many berries into a pie in the middle of the arena and the player with the highest score when time runs out wins. Controls in this game are simple with there being an attack button that you can mash a few times to perform a combo and a charged attack you can perform by holding the button for a few seconds. If you hit another player with a charged attack, they will be immobilized for a few seconds which can help give you a short advantage.
When you’re not playing a Bash round you’ll be playing one of eight different mini-games. These were my favorite part of the game as I enjoyed the look of them and how unique each one felt. Fork Knife puts all the players on a cake and has a fork and a knife making cuts and stabs trying to take them out. If you get hit then you’re out and the last player standing on the cake wins. Another one is called Campfire and has the players toasting marshmallows over a fire. The browner you can get it without burning it the more points you’ll get. Then you have Neapolitan which has players trying to catch falling ice cream in their cone. The player who can get their cone stacked the highest when time runs out wins.
After every mini-game the players are rewarded with coins depending on which place you finished in. These coins can then be spent in a shop that you visit after playing one Bash round and one mini-game. Different sweets are displayed on a stand and by spending your coins they are attached to you. Every sweet is worth a certain amount of points and the player at the end of the entire session with the most points wins. If you get three of the same sweet on you then they combine to form a bigger sweet and that gets you more points. You have to be fast to get what you want though as all of the players are allowed to go to buying right away so you may need to grab that gummy before another player beats you to it. There is also a randomizer machine that costs two coins to use that can be both helpful and hurtful. If can help to get something good for a cheaper price but you also run the risk of getting a rotten sweet attached to you which will lose you points. I personally never really used it as the few times I did I found that I ended up with a bad sweet attached to me. I found it to be a much better idea to just save my coins to buy the sweets on the stand.
The only other thing I haven’t touched on is the arenas of which there are five in total. One has you playing on a blanket on the beach while another has you on a patio table. Each one is aesthetically pleasing but they have things to watch out for. Each stage has a hazard that can hurt you so for example the patio table has a giant pigeon that will land and peck at the players. The beach has hermit crabs that will move across the blanket and hit players. They all also have unique weapons that can be picked up and thrown or swung at the other players to stun them. Lollipops are present at the bakery while screwdrivers are present at the factory. I liked all of the arenas but with there only being five of them they start to grow old quite fast. That last point is really the main thing this game suffers from as within a couple hours I had played every mini-game and unlocked most of the content.
Cake Bash is a deliciously great party game that is perfect to sit down and play with some friends either locally or online. Solo players will likely get bored of it faster as the bots aren’t very challenging to play against. The visuals are cute and well done, the soundtrack is pleasing, and it’s got some well designed mini-games that are lots of fun. The biggest thing it has going against it is much like any great desert, there just isn’t enough of it to last.
*Cake Bash is available now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. Reviewed on a PS4 Pro. Review copy provided by the publisher for this review.