What is it with robots and cake? One minute a cake has mysteriously broken through reality to bring sweet goodness to you and your fuzzy friends. The next, a grabby beady eyed robot has swooped in and spirited the delicious creation away. Time to get after that baked goods thieving automaton and rescue that poor defenceless dessert.
Take the Cake is a cartoonish puzzle platformer. The player controls a fuzzy black creature as it enlarges, shrinks, jumps and sticks to the ceiling, all in an effort to rescue a mysterious cake from a thieving robot.
Puzzles primarily consist of challenges with moving platforms and navigating coloured blocks. Movable platforms can be stood on, or stuck to the bottom of, and moved by enlarging the creature. Certain coloured objects can be passed through after the creature has come into contact with the same coloured paint or colour changing device. There are also some devices which reverse the creature’s gravity.
Each time a player attempts a level it is timed. Throughout the levels are floating rainbow cubes which can be collected. A level can be finished without collecting all of these, but this results in the player’s time not being recorded and the level not being considered to be completed.
By-and-large Take the Cake doesn’t add anything to the puzzle platforming genre; it sticks pretty closely to the template laid out by so many others. Having said that, it does have some nice original flourishes added, such as platforms that can have engines attached, and a handy mini map which helps players to orient themselves.
Game play is bog standard, with the only variation being that the larger the player inflates the creature, the less height it gains with a jump. Enemy AI’s are spotty, and there isn’t a great deal of variety in them. The games description touts that you can “fight bosses”, but one could argue the case of there being only one real boss battle. And on top of this sometimes the controls can feel a little sluggish.
The graphics can be best described as acceptable. It is easy enough to tell what everything is, but nothing really catches the eye or imagination. Animations are quite sparse, which isn’t always a good thing. A lot of the characters and object seem to float, as if not in control of their actions. And the walk animation on the main creature characters is stiff and unconvincing.
However, the puzzles are the games strongest part. Some are quite easy, while others require a little creative or lateral thinking. The controls and rules of the world are progressively introduced into the challenges, and there is a continual addition or combination of these to keep the puzzles fresh. They are hardly at the level where you are going to tear your hair out, but a few did illicit “Ah ha!” moments from me.
As a puzzle platformer, Take the Cake does an adequate job of presenting a series of challenges for the player to overcome. While the puzzle difficulty and variety is well done I doubt that the graphics, story and world building are likely to capture very many players interest. Those players heavily into the genre will probably find a nice few hours of distraction in the game, but I don’t see a lot of replayabilty in it. Even with the time challenge options. There is a demo available, so I recommend downloading and trying that before you fork out USD$9.99. But if you see it for a buck or two during a Steam sale, it would be well worth the investment.
Take the Cake is developed and published by Ebenit, and is available now on Steam.
Reviewed On: PC
Review System: nVidiaN9600C, G1 Sniper M7 S1151, 16GB RAM
Playtime: 3 hours