From a certain perspective Cake Bash is nothing special, nothing unique. Yet it’s presented in such a way that it’s practically irresistible. Well, as long as you have friends to play it with.
Set up as a party title, the game sees you – a cake – competing against three other gateaus to be picked by the next customer who enters the patisserie.
You do this by battling against each other in several rounds of mini-games that help you win chocolates and other decorations to present yourself in the best way possible.
The player who manages to decorate themselves with the best range of treats is declared the winner at the end.
As for the mini-games, they’re a varied bunch. There are ones that are pure chaos – seeing you fling raspberries into a bowl in the centre of the arena while avoiding attacks from the other players – then there are those that are slightly less chaotic. But only just.
They all require a level of skill, but are also just casual enough to mean less experienced gamers can compete. Or at the very least disrupt the ‘better’ players.
There is a welcome layer of strategy in between rounds in how you choose to decorate yourself too, where you use the chocolate coins earned in the mini-games.
You can either buy decorations from the standard shop at list price, or pay a much lower rate and get random items from a gacha machine. The risk is that the machine can often spew out unwanted decorations that actively reduce your final cake value.
In one session we chose to risk the gacha machine for instance, but got punished with an unwanted decoration – then found out we would have won without taking that risk.
It demonstrates how Cake Bash revels in creating a mood of panic and uncertainty, and there’s no better environment for that than when you’re competing with friends.
Obviously that fun factor decreases when you’re playing bots, so Cake Bash is only worth a, er, bash if you’ve got friends to play with. Otherwise it’s certainly not worth its perhaps slightly high price.
If you do have a group of friends to play with though this is a title that will stay solidly in rotation for games nights for months to come. It’s just the right blend of depth, fun, and unpredictability.