Cake Ninja 2 is entirely uninspired, and a complete bore to play. There, I’ve said it.
It only takes a matter of seconds before you realise that Cypronia, seeing the global popularity of Halfbrick Studios Fruit Ninja, sought to replicate such success. Yet the original Cake Ninja strode into the top 20 best-selling games available through Nintendo DSiWare, so the developer can’t be faulted for once again seeking to attract the audience that fell foul of its restricted appeal. I guess.
The general gist isn’t hard to comprehend. Cakes are thrown up from the base of the touch screen, gliding up into the inaccessible upper screen as the player patiently awaits the opportune moment to place the perfect slice in carving such baked goods into submission.
If anything, the sequel lacks challenge. Cypronia expands their original, albeit stolen, formula by introducing multiple modes, spread across both single player and multiplayer. It all feels too easy, the difficulty oddly never seems to heighten with the player soon feeling detached as repetition sets in.
When playing alone, you’ll have four game modes to enjoy. Combo sees players required to slice specified combinations of cakes that appear on-screen. As there’s never anything to trick you, this doesn’t prove especially hard.
Watermelons are the only presence that attempts to pose danger which, once sliced, splatter your screen in an attempt to block your view. Whereas a plethora of Gift Boxes wrapped with different coloured ribbons make things ridiculously easy. These contain power-ups, such as slowing time, freezing the clock, or ‘closing’ the screen trapping any visible cakes from drifting off-screen.
222 poses more challenge, with the player tasked with carving 222 cakes cleanly in the fastest time possible. What trips you up is that you’ll have to keep an eye on the upper screen, with only a specified type of cake decreasing such objective. Slice incorrectly, and that counter will increase instead.
Survival sees you slicing as many cakes as you can, failing if you miss more than ten. Gift boxes return to grant bonuses, whilst watermelons threaten to block your view.
Similarly, the inclusion of Classic, which negates ever purchasing the original Cake Ninja, provides a similar goal in seeing you survive as long as you possibly can to achieve the highest score possible.
Multiplayer only comes in the guise of having to join other players locally, which I predict will prove a rarity even with the significantly large install base.
The inclusion of Achievements seemed superficial at first, yet provides customisation options for anyone that wishes to spend extended time with the Nintendo DSiWare title. These visibly change the way that your blade strikes on-screen, as well as the backgrounds. There’s plenty to unlock too, mostly requiring to you meet criteria such as reaching a set round, time or score.
Hardly the pinnacle of creativity on Nintendo DSiWare, Cake Ninja 2 is only suited to those needing a Fruit Ninja clone fix.