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Hands-on: Cake Bash launches on Google Stadia with some deliciously fun gameplay

From the developers of one of our favorite party games on Stadia, Get Packed, comes a new title. Cake Bash is launching today across Xbox, PS4, Steam, and Google Stadia for $19.99 and it’s an absolute blast to play.

Cake Bash is a party game that reminds us a bit of Super Mario Party, at least the minigames. Players take their pick of several hilariously named confectionery treats and battle it out through fun minigames where they either have to fight each other to win or test their skills with a controller to become the tastiest treat.

This game is one absolutely best played with your friends, but you can also play with shockingly capable bots or matchmaking online. Notably, Cake Bash will support cross-platform matchmaking which should result in Google Stadia’s matchmaking pool being a bit fuller compared to other games.

Each round in Cake Bash comprises of several minigames with a round taking roughly 20 minutes or so. Those minigames are voted on by players which means you’ll always end up with a different variety of games.

Most games involve players fighting, but all in an effort to come out on top. It’s not last-man-standing, but instead, you’re trying to collect candies or fill a dish with fruit and fighting to keep your competitors from beating you. The fighting isn’t complex, but combos and “weapons” make it fun. Frankly, it would be tough to ruin smacking your friend with a giant lollipop.

In a very brief demo below, for example, the objective of the level was to collect as many Jelly Beans as possible, but knocking out other players could dislodge their Beans so you could add them to your own total. In another minigame, there was a constant moving stream of sprinkles and the goal was to collect as many as possible, but they couldn’t be lost by punching. Instead, occasional “black holes” would take away up to 50 from your total.

In the end, though, the real goal of those minigames is to come in first and collect as many coins as possible. From there, you can purchase toppings in between levels which are the real key to winning. Like Mario Party’s “Stars,” you can win only if you have the most toppings regardless of how many minigames you win.

Gameplay in Cake Bash is best played with a controller — in fact, we actually encountered a couple of issues playing with a keyboard/mouse — and runs smoothly on Google Stadia. There were no noticeable bugs through a couple of rounds and the variety of maps left us enjoying each new stage. There’s certainly a learning curve to some of the controls and maps, but the opening tutorial ensures that the basics are known while the rest can easily be figured out as you play. My only big gripe with the game was setting up a party. It’s a bit jarring that second, third, and fourth players don’t show up on the host’s screen until they’ve actually selected characters. Hopefully, that can be tweaked in the future but for now, it’s just something to get used to.

Overall, I had a blast testing out Cake Bash and I can’t wait to get a full group on to play it. If it piques your interest, I’d highly recommend giving it a shot! You can buy Cake Bash on Stadia today for $19.99 and play instantly.

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Ben is a writer and video producer for 9to5Google.

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