CES 07: Cake Mania Hands-On

Who doesn't love cake? We check out this charming and hectic baking game from Majesco.


Cake Mania

LAS VEGAS--Sweet feathery Christmas we love cake. We love it so much that we love to read about cake, think about cake, and most of all, ingest pound after heaping pound of cake. Because of this, a video game based around the idea of creating yummy bakery treats immediately appeals to us. Cake Mania for the Nintendo DS is just that kind of game, and not only does its title accurately describe our fervor for the floured goods, but it also turns out to be a surprisingly fun, family-friendly game.

Cake Mania will feature two modes of play--the original PC version of Cake Mania and an all-new mode known as "back to the bakery." Both modes follow the culinary adventures of Jill, a young lady who has agreed to take over her grandparent's struggling bakery to help save the family business. Most of the action in cake mania will take place in the store's bakery, where your job will be to fulfill orders as quickly and accurately as possible

The game is almost entirely played with the stylus and touch screen--you move Jill to various points in the bakery by tapping on various portions of the screen. To bake a cake, you simply move Jill close to the stove and choose the shape of the cake you wish to bake (based on the order of your current customer). Customers will usually want frosting on their cake, and to fulfill their order (which will show up in pictorial form in a dialogue balloon), you move to the froster and then choose the correct color. Then it's time to deliver the cake to the customer, collect the cash, and take the next order.

It sounds simple enough, but the complexity in Cake Mania comes from this universal truism: Everyone loves cake. The customers in Cake Mania share a rabid devotion to cake that we can identify with, and it won't be long before multiple customers are lined up at your counter, demanding freshly baked treats of their own. Luckily, you can quickly load commands for Jill--taking an order, moving to the oven to get the next cake started, and then shifting over to the froster to ice the next cake or deliver the final product to your customer. The challenge in the game is keeping everything moving smoothly with no mistakes--take too long to fulfill an order, or deliver the wrong order, and your customer will bail on you, leaving you with a cake that's for nothing but the trash bin.

As you progress through the game, you'll earn money that can used to buy additional ovens or frosting machines to keep up with the increasing demands of your customers. You can also upgrade the equipment you have to make your ovens bake faster and your frosters frost with more urgency.

While cake mania mode features action in the family bakery, the back to the bakery mode will find Jill trying to win a trip for an exotic vacation and will find her visiting and baking in all new locations. With all this baking to do, Jill better get cracking. In fact, we're feeling the need right now...anyone know of a good bakery in Vegas?

Cake Mania is currently due for release in just a few weeks. Stay tuned for our full review as soon as the game is released.

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