Overview – developed by Zoo Corporation and published by eastasiasoft, Cake Invaders is a wave defense arcade shooter, where the player must protect Baumkuchen cake from hungry aliens. This title is available digitally for all console platforms, with a link to each version of the game being available at the bottom of this review.
Disclaimer: before I get into the review, I would like to thank eastasiasoft for providing the copy of Cake invaders that was used for this piece. The provision of this software has not influenced the contents of this review, all thoughts and opinions contained within are my own.
Now with the introductions out of the way, let’s get into the review. There is no story for this release, so I will be moving directly into the gameplay segment.
Gameplay – the premise for this title is fairly simple, the player must defend the Baumkuchen cakes on board their ship from the aliens that attempt to eat them. To achieve this, the player must use a Mini-Gun to shoot down the enemies that attack, starting off with a single crew member and low powered shots in the beginning. To target enemies a crosshair will appear on screen, allowing the player to aim at specific foes as they try to get closer to the cakes.
To make battling the ravenous aliens easier power-ups can be collected during battle, dropped from special enemies or by filling the rainbow meter up. Here are the power-ups that can be collected during the stages;
- Crew +1 – an additional crew member joins the team, increasing overall damage output until that crew member is eliminated by being hit by an enemy.
- Damage Up – increase the damage for the whole crew until the end of the next wave.
- Speed Up – double the speed of all active crew member weapon shots until the end of the next wave.
- Piercing Bullet – collect a limited number of shots that will pierce enemies and hit additional foes until they leave the screen.
- Dokkan Bullet – collect a limited number of special shots that explode when making contact with an enemy.
- Sugar Coating – Protect existing cakes with a shield that will prevent them from being damaged for a single hit, lasting for as long as that specific cake isn’t hit.
When a player completes a stage, their score will be determined by how many enemies have been defeated, if upgrades have been collected and if they have protected all the Baumkuchen. The stages will play out endlessly until all of the cake has been eaten, when this happens the game will end and the score will be uploaded to the online rankings if it is a high score. This high score system adds a lot of replay value to the experience, making for a competitive challenge.
With the gameplay covered, I will be moving onto the other aspects of the game, starting with the controls.
Controls – the control method for this release is very simple, the twin sticks and D-pad control the crosshair, with the face buttons and trigger being used for shooting and weapon switching. This controller set up makes the experience comfortable when playing in either docked or handheld play, with stick speed settings that can make the controls more comfortable during play.
Difficulty – the difficulty for this title is mostly based on random chance, due to the way that the power-up system functions, the strength of the crew will vary over time. The challenge can be lessened a little by memorizing the enemies that appear in a stage, as the majority of patterns are unchanged between stages. This makes practice an important part of setting a high score on the leaderboards.
Presentation – the visual style for this title has a retro feel to it, with pixel art for the all of the characters and backgrounds, with smooth animations and bold sprites perfect for handheld mode. The action flows smoothly, with a single screen that has a scrolling background. The sound for this title use simple sound effects, with copyright free music that plays throughout the game from Dova-Syndrome.
Final Thoughts – I had a pleasant time with this release, as the simple wave defense style and arcade gameplay added to the experience, alongside the online leaderboard. The only minor nitpick I have with the game is the crosshair can be a little unwieldy. However, I am happy to recommend this release to everyone, as it is a simple title that anyone can pick up and play with relative ease. It may take a few plays to get used to it, but with a little practice everyone has a chance to reach the top of the leaderboards.
In the end, I give Cake Invaders a final score of 4.5/5. This is a simple arcade style wave defense title, with cutesy pixel art and a challenging yet fun gameplay system, with randomized power-ups that will keep players on their toes. If you want to check this title out for yourself, you will find a link to each version at the bottom of this review.
Link to Nintendo Switch version (HERE)
Link to PlayStation version (HERE)
Link to Xbox version (HERE)