Playing Crazy Cake Swap makes me hungry. It’s a common side effect with any Match-3 game that has me matching together food items, and Crazy Cake Swap certainly hits high on the hunger scale. Dig under that saccharine surface and, well, you’ve got a fairly typical Match-3 style game going on. That means if you love the genre, like me, you’re going to really enjoy it — at least that is until you start feeling slowed down by the prospect of in-app purchases and unlocks.

Crazy Cake Swap’s main original selling point emerges early on. You can include you and your friends’ faces within the game. It’s gimmicky, sure, but I’m assuming this is the ideal kind of thing to lure in younger gamers. At regular points, there’s another opportunity to include someone’s face, but if you’re really not interested, you can always use a cartoon avatar instead.

crazy cake swap review

While the basic structure behind Crazy Cake Swap seems typical of the Match-3 genre, each level offers a slightly different objective. Some stages might have you needing to clear a path from one side of the level to the other, for instance. Your young baker needs to get to the exit door, and the only way you can facilitate that is by clearing a path for them. You’re still matching up cake, but it’s with more of an aim than simply working towards a points goal.

Another common stage has you serving customers. This involves matching up a series of desired components before moving onto the next one who might have completely different needs. Other stages may have you spreading ‘icing’ or encouraging eggs to drop to the bottom of the screen. As you’ll see, these still tend to be quite similar to other Match-3 games, but the variety ensures you’re reasonably entertained. Such games are often at risk of turning repetitive, and Crazy Cake Swap mixes things up enough to keep you keen for a while to come.

Predictably though, Crazy Cake Swap does love to seek out your money. There’s a life system, restricting you to five attempts before waiting it out to restore your health. That’s not so bad early on, but it’ll slow you down the further you progress. The biggest irritant comes from reaching the end of significant chapters though. There you’re required to either use the premium currency of diamonds, ask your friends, or complete additional challenges to progress to the next set of levels.

The last option doesn’t sound so bad, right? Unfortunately, you can only complete one of these challenges every 24 hours, and you need to complete three to progress. Yup, that slows things down massively. No one would blame you for paying up to progress, but it is a cheeky and unfortunate side effect to the freemium experience.

crazy cake swap review

However, if you just chip away at Crazy Cake Swap, play a few levels, then dip back out again for a bit, it’s pretty fun. In fact, it’s one of the more satisfying Match-3 games currently out there, with its variety of different game types ensuring you won’t get bored too soon. As is often the way with the genre, it’s hard to not feel a teensy bit smug the moment you pull off a spectacular combo and wipe out half the board in one move (not that it will necessarily help you, depending on the kind of level you’re playing).

It’s simple touches like these that will keep you playing. At least until those restrictive progression barriers irritate you too much.