Cake Ninja (DSiWare)

Game Review

Cake Ninja Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Maybe it’s a fruit cake

Nintendo’s handheld consoles face the ever-growing prominence of smartphones, particularly in terms of the games on these devices. Cake Ninja is undoubtedly influenced by a thoroughly popular game on Android and iOS that involves slicing fruit: this ninja, however, has lost his way.

The gameplay within this title couldn’t be any more simplistic: use the stylus to slash cakes as they appear on the touchscreen. To be fair to the developers, the first words in the game overview are ‘a simple casual game’, so expectations are very clearly set. Cakes, donuts and other treats move between the screens, with your task being to simply swipe wildly with the stylus to slice them up. Parcels provide useful assists such as arrows and shurikens, while accidentally slashing a watermelon – the story is that the ninja’s wife needs a diet, so watermelons are a must — will cut your remaining time and your score.

A typical round will last two to three minutes, at which point a local leaderboard is displayed and, if your inner-ninja was sufficiently deadly with the stylus, you can add your own score to the rankings. You then realise that you’ve seen all the game has to offer: there's no challenge modes, no varied levels, no progression. All you can do is play the same level again and aim for a higher score, swiping away with no other goal. There is a multiplayer option where you face off with another DSi owner, but that requires the second player to have their own copy of the game. If you and a friend both have the game, then you’ve both made the same terrible mistake.

The issue with Cake Ninja is that providing one level, with no variety, of an incredibly simplistic game is utterly unacceptable. It's possible to see everything that this title has to offer within five minutes, with practically no replay value. It’s also ludicrously priced at 500 Nintendo Points, or £4.50 on the 3DS eShop; it seems inconceivable that there is another download on the service that represents worse value for money.

Joining the shallow content is humdrum presentation. While some respectable 3D visuals are present in the menu cut scene and the cakes are decently rendered, it lacks any vibrant colour to lift the overall look. As you may have guessed, there’s only one background screen as you slice cakes, while tolerable music is let down by an awfully clichéd ninja voice.


We can say one good thing about Cake Ninja: the stylus controls work just fine. Everything else is wrong, with a spectacular lack of content combining with mediocre presentation. There is absolutely nothing wrong with casual, easy-to-play games, but they should still have plenty to do and demonstrate genuine creativity. This title does neither of these things, and this particular ninja should bow out.

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User Comments (48)



alLabouTandroiD said:

If the gameplay's good and polished enough i have no problem with these games coming to a shop near me. But they really shouldn't cost more than 1 €. Even then it would have to be a really good level to get me interested.



NX01Trekkie1992 said:

the way you talk about it Thomas, I'm surprised you even gave it a two, have you guys ever given a score lower than this?

EDIT: Indeed you have... I figured out how to search by score, wow there's some shovelware out there, hahaha



Flowerlark said:

Wow, I could have ALMOST understood that small an amount of content for 200 points, but 500? What the heck were they thinking?



Philip_J_Reed said:

Wow, this is a travesty. I expected a lot more. How difficult can it be to port Fruit Ninja? Very difficult apparently, which is damn shocking!




Fruit Ninja would've been ace with stylus controls....the opricing here is utterly insulting. To be fair a lot of smartphone pick up and play games are the very definotion of shallow and unimaginative



cypronia1 said:

comment from developer:
When we read the review, FRUIT NINJA would get the same score. It is the similar slice-them-up genre "with no progression, no more levels..." and demonstrate the same "genuine creativity". All you can do in FRUIT NINJA "is play the same level again and aim for a higher score, swiping away with no other goal". Ohh sorry. There is no multiplayer in the first version of FRUIT NINJA, so the reviewer would give 1/10.

BTW, we do not want to say that FRUIT NINJA is a bad game. It is so GREAT game, we like it so much. That's why we used it as an inspiration for our new Nintendo DSiWare game. And we are sure there are millions player who think the same.

“It's possible to see everything that this title has to offer within five minutes”. Hmm, it seems like reviewer invested 5 minutes to make the review. If he did serious testing he would find and mentioned about the bonuses like Slow, Double, Mirror Blade, Shuriken, Bounce, Flying Arrows or extra bonuses in multiplayer like Small, Gravity or Twin Blade.
He just wrote about shurikens and arrows( because they are mentioned in the trailer) but NOTHING MORE.

The game has “no progression”… Another proof that reviewer did not invest fair time to test the game. He would find progression (at least in difficulty) and he would find online rankings. If player achieves at least 4600 points, he will be allowed to submit the game score online (with special code). There is a contest connected to it with a chance to get 40.000 Nintendo Points, etc. But it is necessary to spend a fair enough time to get there.

The game price. FYI, we do not set the price and this is out of our control.



Reala said:

/me makes note never to buy anything from cypronia, thanks for the warning!



Philip_J_Reed said:

We do appreciate you identifying yourself as a developer, cypronia1, and not attempting to post sneaky comments as many others have.

Of course, so long as the above represents Thomas's honest opinion about the game (and we have no reason to think it doesn't), we stand behind it.

If you are aware of any inaccuracies in the review, by all means, point them out. But if it's just a case of "the reviewer doesn't like this stuff but he SHOULD like this stuff," then there's really not much to contribute to the conversation.

You seem convinced that he only spent 5 minutes playing the game, which is not true...he said it takes 5 minutes to see everything, not that he gave up after that amount of time.



grumblegrumble said:

Ah. I was kinda hoping this one would be ok at least. Wow. A 2 is pretty bad!! Thanks for the warning!



theblackdragon said:

I was hoping for more — even Fruit Ninja has unlockable backgrounds and more than one mode of play. ah well, makes the decision not to buy that much easier i guess :/



GlasS said:

Cypronia1- but for five dollars? Without any variety, such as new blades, or unlockables, or different modes, or achievements, or basically any incentive to play the game, as Fruit Ninja has?



grumblegrumble said:

I do feel bad for the developer above,but... just take all this as some good advice for making your next game even better! We've seen a lot of garbage come through the dsiware service and there is a higher standard than what some developers might be trying to achieve. We appreciate your effort but DO YOUR RESEARCH here in the forums. Make games more playable and give us more bang for the buck, unlockables and ways that we'll wanna keep playing. We don't need something that's good for 5 minutes and then never pick it up again. 5 bucks is a whole lot these days. For $2 this game may have been scored a little higher, but even at $2 we've seen better. We need MEATY CONTENT, not bits of cake and icing. (lol) I think you had good intentions with this game but perhaps it just needed a bit more, especially for this price range.



Reala said:

well I just emailed all my friends and family warning them not to buy this terrible game and urge you all to do the same, protect your loved ones from shovelware this xmas.



GameLord08 said:

What sort of world do we live in, where cake is brutally abused and mistreated like this?



ThomasBW84 said:

I will address the main accusation that I spent only five minutes on the review. That was absolutely not the case, in fact I played many, many rounds. I didn't discover the online code function because 4600 is a rather high score to attain, and I never achieved this. I may perhaps lack the necessary reflexes to his this target, but playing plenty of the game formed the review nevertheless.

I did say that items assist the player, giving the two examples of the arrows and shurikens as they, in my experience, appeared most often: paragraph 2.

Pricing may not be Cypronia's 'fault', but my loyalty when I write a review is to the readers, not the developers. From a reader's perspective, that price point is a problem.



k17alaaro said:

So is this game similar to fruit ninja? Oh well I going to get it anyways Thanks for the great review!!



Odnetnin said:

For the record, I got bored of Fruit Ninja Free after five minutes and uninstalled it, so I'm pretty sure I wouldn't enjoy this no matter how good of a clone it was.



Poketendo said:

I thaugt it would be fun to buy it... but after reading this... I've got a feeling it's not as much fun as i thought it would be (2/10 duh...) I might better use my points for something else.



atariman said:

I'm sorry, but I agree cypronia1. because isn't fruit ninja for the iphone the same controls as this game? its the same thing! the GAME controls are the same, so basicly Fruit Ninja is a bad game if you hate cake ninja. fruit ninja for iphone or ipad touch screen is the same as the DSI touch screen. so the only game that wins here is Fruit Ninja for the Xbox Kinect. sorry but Fruit Ninja (iphone) and cake Ninja lose. so fruit ninja is a 2/10 if cake ninja stinks (my opinion).



atariman said:

I like fruit ninja I'm not saying that its a bad game. I'm just saying that if you think that the controls are "way to easy and terrible" then the fruit ninja stinks so badly because its the same exact thing as fruit ninja. its not just the controls but its every thing this game has levels and more memory. fruit ninja has no levels its just high score. no limit. so I think cake ninja should be known better then fruit ninja. in my opinion. these comments are just my opinion. if I'm missing something then someone let me know.



Z-LemonHead said:

I really hope you don't mind me saying that I completely disagree with this...

I read this review and thought who cares and went and got Cake Ninja. I know. I'm a rebel
Seriously this is like a DSiWare BREAAKKTHROUGHH!

But I do agree that one game mode is kindaa.... you know.
I do actually recommend this game it's really fun.

And one last thing. I kinda feel sorry for the developers at Cypronia. Seeing all the bad stuff about their cool game.

My favourite part of the game is when you choose the language.

I LOVE that noise



Geonjaha said:

@Reala - Talk about overreacting. Just for that I'll make sure not to endorse any company you ever work for. I'll also tell my friends and family to do the same.



grumblegrumble said:

I want to update you on the statement above. After playing Cake Ninja 2 myself, I actually like it. So everyone just use your own judgment on this one. If you think you might like it, you probably will.



18jcrone said:

I got this game and it's actually pretty fun! Although there needs to be more variety to it but I really like it!

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