Cake Laboratory Switch Review by SwitchWatch

Developer: GrimTalin

Publisher: Square Heads Games

Release Date: Out Now

Price as of Article: $2.99 USD, £2.69 GBP

Game code provided by GrimTalin for review

Gameplay

So you may be asking yourself, what is Cake Laboratory? Well, Cake Laboratory is a cake stacking game where your main goal is to stack as many sweet cakes on top of each other to reach the height required to move on to the next level. It sounds easy, but cakes come in various sizes: small, medium, and large. As you progress through each level, the rate in which the cakes fall becomes quicker, making stacking them a little tricky. With each one being different in size, it can make judging when to hit the A button difficult. One wrong button press could lead to the your cake tower becoming unbalanced, which could result in it collapsing.

Cake Laboratory Screenshot 3

You’re allowed to miss just once, have a second chance to rebuild tower where you left off, but fail the third time, though, and it’s game over. Also, completing the tower quickly will earn you three stars in each level, which may unlock new cake designs and plates for use in the cake decoration tab.

Target audience!

This title seems to be aimed towards the casual crowd and younger gamers. I’m clearly not part of the target audience here, as this is more focused on quick play sessions. The game is easy enough for younger gamers not to be too frustrated, and it has that pick-up-and-play gameplay that the casual crowd would prefer.

Bake me a cake!

Completing levels will also unlock new cakes for use in each new level. However, if you’re not happy with cakes on display, you can make your own in “My Cakes”. Unlocking more plates mean you can create more types of cakes for use in any of the levels. It’s a nice inclusion and I’m sure younger players will enjoy using many different cake bases, icing, and toppings to create their own cakes.

It’s not deep and there are only so many to pick from, but it’s a nice side activity. It’s a shame it wasn’t expanded upon. I think a few more designs or even an ability to make or bake your own cake using little mini games, like the ones from Cooking Mama, might have been a nice little extra, but sadly this aspect wasn’t implemented. Maybe next time.

Cake Laboratory Screenshot

Short but sweet!

There are only 50 levels in Cake Laboratory which isn’t a bad number, but I would have liked to see an extra 50 more to unlock after the first 50 were completed, only with a harder difficulty for more experienced gamers. Again, this isn’t the case, and I think it missed an opportunity.

However, since this is targeted at a younger audience, most kids these days don’t have much of an attention span, so, thanks to the small number of levels, this can be played and replayed. The casual crowd would appreciate this for quick gaming sessions without having to get stuck into a long drawn-out narrative.

HD-Rumble!

So this was a surprise. I did find some rumble while playing, specifically when the first cake falls at the beginning of a level and when you finish making a cake. If you manage to get a cake perfectly sitting on top of another, you will receive a “PERFECT” message. While this doesn’t add to the overall score, it does give you a sense that you are doing well and you will get some feedback from the HD-Rumble, which I did like.

Tooth ache!

One thing that I think would have been a great addition would be a 2 player versus mode. You know, trying to out-stack the other player in a test of survival. I really hope the developer thinks about adding in some of my suggestions, as I think this would be a great game to play with the family, it would certainly extend playtime. This feature is not in Cake Laboratory but fingers crossed that this could be added to Cake Laboratory 2 if they ever decide to do a sequel.

I did enjoy the game as I like the pick-up-and-play nature of the title, but I only found the last 3 levels to have any real challenge.

Cake Laboratory Screenshot 2

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Audio

The music in Cake Laboratory reminds me of elevator music which was pleasant to listen to. However, there isn’t an option to turn down the volume. It’s the same with the sound effects; they’re either on or off, which is a little odd. Also, when the music finishes, there is a pause before the music starts again, which can be a little jarring, but I did find myself humming to the music of the title screen while playing. I like the noise when the cakes fall and stack. There’s a little splat animation with each impact which I found quite satisfying to listen to and see.

Visuals & Performance

Visually, the game looks and reminds me of a mobile title, but I did like how the cakes looked. Having a sweet tooth myself, I found myself getting rather hungry while playing. There is a chef character that appears on the main introduction and on the game over screen – I thought he was animated well. Plus, there’s a little stacking animation and tower wobbling effect which adds to the overall presentation, and I though it looked good.

I’m going to have to start mentioning what game icons on the Switch Home screen looks like, as there are a lot of people who actually care about this. Fortunately, I can confirm that Cake Laboratory’s icon is nice – with the chef, logo, and a few cakes – it’s fun and nicely detailed. 

Performance-wise, everything ran smoothly and there were no crashes or any other issues to speak of. The game also supports screenshots and video capture.

Value

Currently, the game is on sale for £2.69 GBP and it’s a bargain at that price. It’s not going to last you hours, but it’s focused purely towards the casual crowd and the younger audience. It’s not going to be everyone’s piece of cake, but it’s sweet while it lasts.

Pros

P

80 custom-parts for cake makers

P

50 levels

P

Pick up and play nature

Cons

P

Short

P

No multiplayer