Cake Ninja 2 (DSiWare)

Game Review

Cake Ninja 2 Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Philip J Reed

Unjust desserts

Almost one year ago, the DSiWare service was graced with the appearance of Cake Ninja, an unrepentant clone of mobile craze Fruit Ninja. However, its lifeless approach to the formula, lack of addictiveness and total dearth of variety doomed it to receive a mere 2/10 in our review.

Now we have Cake Ninja 2, which seeks to atone for the crimes of its predecessor, but succeeds only in compounding the issues that caused it to fail in the first place.

We'll say this much up front: there is now absolutely no reason for anyone to purchase the first Cake Ninja game, so if you're absolutely dying to carve up cakes before your fat wife can eat them — the actual plot of the game — make sure you buy this one instead. It is, after all, the same price, and the entire original Cake Ninja is included here as one of the four game modes.

Now that we've gotten that out of the way, we can address the problems with Cake Ninja 2, as there are many.

For starters, the developers don't seem to have refined the original, flawed gameplay experience at all. Fruit Ninja succeeds because it's a satisfying, tactile experience. Its controls are responsive, its physics are fun, and the game gets progressively more frantic without ever feeling unfair. Cake Ninja 2 seems to believe that Fruit Ninja succeed because it's a game in which things are sliced, and as long as it provides that much it's done its job.

In terms of controls, there's a short delay in Cake Ninja 2 that your swipes trail behind your actions just enough that there's a palpable disconnect. You slice along the touch screen with your stylus and a cake is halved, but those two facts feel as though they're barely related.

In terms of physics, the cakes feel like they're out of your reach around half the time they're visible — Fruit Ninja, by way of comparison, has no such periods of "inaccessibility" — simply because they've drifted up to the top screen, and you need to wait for them to come down again. It's not fun, and it forces you to catch them as soon as they arrive or as they plummet into oblivion, robbing you of the satisfaction of slashing them at that perfect moment of stillness at the height of their arcs.

And as far as frantic fun goes, Cake Ninja 2 misses the mark entirely, with even two-minute-long play sessions feeling like a dull eternity. The difficulty never seems to increase, and you're more likely to be struggling with overcoming your own boredom than anything the game throws at you.

Those are problems inherent with all four of Cake Ninja 2's game modes, as each of the modes feels and plays the same: you're always slicing cakes and avoiding watermelons. In one mode you are asked to slice the cakes in specific combinations, in another you're asked to slice 222 cakes of one particular design, and in the third you're asked to slice cakes until you miss 10 of them. The fourth mode is a copied and pasted Cake Ninja 1.

The modes that ask you to slice particular cakes or combinations of cakes are even less fun than usual, as that information is displayed on the top screen while the action — as it is — takes place on the bottom. You'll be flicking your eyes back and forth and trying to memorise what it is you're supposed to be slashing, in what we have to assume is Cake Ninja 2's approximation of "difficulty." Additionally, in some modes the score is displayed and in others it is not until the game ends, which is a pretty bizarre choice for a score-attack game.

Cake Ninja 2 advertises online leaderboards, but that's more than a little misleading, as at the end of a round you're just told to go to your computer, log into the Cake Ninja website, and post your score there manually for others to see. It's better than nothing, but a far cry from the instant, real-time leaderboards most people will envision when they see that feature listed.

As with the first game, Cake Ninja 2 features multiplayer that requires two copies of the game. All four modes are playable in multiplayer, leading to a total of eight modes you'll get sick of immediately.

Cake Ninja 2 made an admirable attempt to add value to an existing product, but all it really did was provide a larger pile of something we didn't enjoy in the first place. If you're absolutely dying for cake slashing action, this is the game to buy. But if you're discerning enough to want a game that does more than throw cake at you until you get bored enough to shut it off, you'd better save your money.


Every bit as disappointing as the first game, Cake Ninja 2 opts to pile on additional modes in favour of correcting any deeper problems with its gameplay and approach. The result is simply a larger mess, and pretty conclusive evidence that bigger is not always better.

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User Comments (24)



Auracle said:

Another one bites the dust. Philip, thanks for playing games like this so that we don't have to.



TheInvisibleTor said:

Wow even with more modes it gets a 210. That makes no sense! Eh, at least i won't have to try and save up for it now. :/



Karakato said:

Harsh words Chicken, but I was never too enthusiastic on Fruit ninja and other similar games anyway. Doubt this will change my mind either.



grumblegrumble said:

OOOOh! Why do they even bother with sequels to bad games? Time for fresh ideas, move along to something else!



ivanmata said:

These are the type of games you only play twice at most, pretty much like most phone games, it deserves the score....



Detective_TeeJay said:

You'd think they'd actually want to correct all that was wrong with the first game instead of piling on more of the same.



Raylax said:

When I was 14, I prototyped a game with very similar mechanics to this - shapes would fly off the top of the screen, so you'd have to hit them on their way up or wait for them to drop back down again. Fortunately, I realized that it was atrociously un-fun (even after piling in power-ups, unlockables, and a few different level modes), so I stopped making it. It seems that Cypronia has failed to grasp what a 14-year-old realized.




Another poor Fruit Ninja clone that infects iOS. The premier game, Fruit Ninja, is a brilliant game, however.



cypronia4 said:

Hi all,
let us (developer) include a few facts about Cake Ninja:

Nintendolife rated Cake Ninja1 - 2/10, too

BUT the players rated it different:

  • 4.5/5 european eShop
  • 4/5 on american eShop
  • 3 weeks in the top 20 best-selling Nintendo DSiWare games in North America

Thank You All for Your Support!



NintendoCat14 said:

Eh, we all knew this was just a rehash of the first one... We're all sorry you had to go through this...



Void said:

You know I was thinking about saying inb4 @cypronia1, but then I saw they were banned, and when I clicked on this review I just felt they mould make a comment on how their game was goo because its highly rated on the eShop...
The rating on the eShop means nothing, and 3 weeks in the top 20 in just the DSi ware just in NA is pretty poor, especially when you consider the amount of titles that come out each week.



R-L-A-George said:

@cypronia4 You know, if you listen to constructive criticism and stop looking at numbers and stars. You would probably have customers coming back for more, rather than 7 yr olds who buy it because its called cake ninja. I mean it sounds awesome, won't you make an original, enjoyable game out of it. Like I said once about another game; "Ninjabread Man, this is either going to be really awesome or absolutely horrible."



Gridatttack said:

I wonder why do they ban all the cypronia reregs? Are developers not allowed?
Also coming for the fact that his game got a bad score, I can understand why cypronia feels angry, but he shouldn't be backing up with the ratings. (but really, some games get a low score and are fun to play)
Now, I would like to see if half brick would actual bring fruit ninja to the eshop, I would like to see how it fares out (and to actually compare it to cake ninja)



theblackdragon said:

@Gridatttack: Ban evasion is never tolerated at Nintendo Life, whether by normal users or developers. The folks at Cypronia earned their bans during the original Cake Ninja fiasco. Out of fairness we've let them have their one response on this review, and that'll be it from them this time around.



Gridatttack said:

@theblackdragon I thought they were banned because they commented on their first game review...anyway there must be a reason why they are, and yep, they shouldn't be re-registering...



theblackdragon said:

@Gridattack: Don't worry, it wasn't just 'because they commented on their first game review', lol — the worst of what went down and their subsequent evasions was all deleted and/or edited out when it happened. If we could leave it at that and get back to discussing the game at hand, it'd be greatly appreciated. :3



grumblegrumble said:

Not even a 3/10 for including the first game as a mode in the sequel? What a value! Haha. Well, I guess I just like slashing cakes (hey, it relieves stress), because I give this one a 5/10, but I do see your point. It really could be much more than what we are given, but I do like what's included, just wish there was more or different ways to play.



18jcrone said:

I played the first Cake Ninja and I liked it, so I bought this one and it's just as fun as the first one and it has a little more variety to it to!

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