By Quentin H. / March 29th, 2019
Publisher(s): High Tea Frog (ID@Xbox title)
Platform(s): Xbox One/Xbox One X, PlayStation 4, Switch, PC (Steam)
Release Date: Q1 2020
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Cake Bash was definitely the ‘sweetest’ game, ID@Xbox or otherwise, that I was able to go hands-on with at GDC 2019. Billed as a party game, Cake Bash has four players go head-to-head with each other to become the tastiest cake. At GDC, there were two, out of a potential fifteen modes, available to experience in this developmental build: “Get Tasty” and “Fruity Clafoutis”. These modes were spread across five maps, each with their own unique dangers, to play upon.
The first mode I played was ‘Get Tasty”. In order to win at this mode of Cake Bash, you need to have the most sweets stuck to your dessert’s body when time is up. In a four-player match, this simple concept descends quickly into fun chaos. Sweets will randomly appear all over the arena, and you have to run around and pick them up. However, your opponents can hit you with melee attacks or smack you with weapons (formed out of candy, naturally) to make you drop your sweets so they can claim it for themselves. If watching out for your opponent’s attacks alone was not enough, there are stage hazards that appear that you have to keep an eye out for as well. With the character and weapon’s melee range being decently long, it is extremely hard -if not impossible- to not get hit repeatedly in Cake Bash by your opponents. In other words, there is simply no way to hide out in a corner of the map, quietly collecting candies until the timer runs out. If you want to win, you will have to dive into the fray and take on all comers.
The second Cake Bash mode that I was able to demo was “Fruity Clafoutis”. Unlike “Get Tasty”, where you have to pick up and maintain the most number of sweets, you instead throw objects that appear on the map into a bowl in the center of the map that is filled with flan. For each object you bring over to the bowl and throw in, you get a point. Every so often, a special golden-colored object will appear that is worth ten points. The extreme value of the golden-colored object, however, is balanced out by the fact that your dessert-player-of-choice will move extremely slow while carrying that golden item over to be tossed in. Just like in “Get Tasty”, you can attack your opponents to make them drop the items they are carrying over to the bowl to throw in while the game timer counts down.
Cake Bash, which has been in development since last year, is first and foremost a fun party game where the matches only last a few minutes each. This is important because even if one person is significantly ahead of the others, then one player is not feeling completely left out and stuck in a pointless game for too long. Also, the stages and dessert characters themselves are gorgeous to look at. Cake Bash is a game that not only nails the whimsical atmosphere that it intends to convey with the joyful desserts you can play as, but also well balances -even at this point in development- player skill level and experience in the game. For example, I played against part of the High Tea Frog development team who is making Cake Bash, and I still felt like I held my own quite well as a new player in the matches. The mechanics were simple enough that I could semi-master them in just a few matches so that I could quickly start to just absorb myself in the matches I was playing.
While there is no word yet on what the other various gameplay modes available will be for this ID@Xbox indie title, I am excited to see what Cake Bash has in store when it finally releases in Q1 2020.
What kind of dessert would you like to play as in Cake Bash? Are you looking forward to this party game in 2020?
Let us know in the comments below!
Cake BashdessertsGDCGDC 2019ID@ID@XboxmultiplayerPCPlayStation 4Switch