Bake ‘n Switch is a cute and challenging party game that brings any friendship to a boil, whether your playing with or against your friends.
Bake ‘n Switch has a pretty simple concept: collect pick up adorable creatures made of dough, and throw them in the oven to get points.
The concept may be simple, but those cute little guys are quick, and you need to smush them together into larger lumps of dough if you want to score high enough. So you have to trust your friends to handle the heat in co-op mode, or swoop in and literally take their cake in competitive mode.
Enter the Kitchen
The living pastries you try to bake are sweet, but they are not the only inhabitants here in Bake ‘n Switch Land. You’ll encounter dough parrots, dough monkeys, and dough armadillos, but also the slimy mold creatures that want to eat them. These disgusting animals will devour your dough creations and stick you in place if they touch you, wasting precious seconds.
If those monsters are not enough, the environment itself is against you. In Bake ‘n Switch, you and your friends explore tropical islands and deserts, each presenting brand new environmental challenges.
Even the oven presents a challenge. It can be a picky eater that only accepts one type of dough, in a specific shape or flavor (or both). And once it gets its wish, it might change its desires completely. And if you think it stays put, patiently waiting for you to prepare your next pastry, you’re dead wrong. You’ll trip, fall, lose your dough as well as your sanity as you try to satiate the oven’s very particular appetites.
And the more cooks you have on screen, the harder the challenge. The characters you play as are all colorful and sweet, and each one of them has their own skills and special agility. You unlock more of them as you progress, and their delightful design, “punny” names, and unique abilities make working hard to unlock them more than worth it.
As a result, every level is short and chaotic – two minutes of intense combining, throwing, and yelling. You’ll need these to hone your cooking and cooperation skills to progress further.
Stay Together, Bake Together
When cooking, it usually pays to follow the recipe; it saves a ton of frustration, mess, and tears. Unfortunately, the Bake ‘n Switch doesn’t have a recipe, or in this case – tutorials. The game points you to the kitchen and asks you to improvise.
This innocent, sweet-looking game is very deceiving, and you won’t know when the next challenge will hit you. One of the greatest obstacles is understanding what you need to do, how to do it, and what everything else does. You might think you need to stand on a switch to activate something, only to find out its only purpose is to throw you off a platform and destroy what you’ve been working so hard on.
So the best thing you can do is communicate with your friends and learn together. If you don’t, you’ll find out that there is such a thing as too many cooks. Teamwork is the key to success – you’ll bake more pastries and defeat more dough-loving pests.
Even when playing just two people, you constantly need to keep an eye on each other and let each other know what’s going on – just like you see in all those cooking reality shows. You’ll need to keep the mold at bay and delivered huge chunks of dough from one end of the screen to the other until the satisfying win.
In competitive mode, the chaos reaches a whole new level. At some point, I gave up and started playing dirty, trying to make the other players fail. Then again, I was never great at keeping my kitchen spotless. Bake ‘n Switch supports up to 4 players, on your couch or online. Of course, the online multiplayer won’t deliver the same satisfaction of seeing your friends’ faces as you steal another win from under them.
Looks As Good As It Plays
Since each match in Bake ‘n Switch is short and intense, characters don’t have interesting personalities or interactions. However, their design is neat and sweet, and unique enough so you won’t lose your baker amidst the on-screen chaos. As anyone who plays these kinds of games can tell you – being able to tell who’s who easily is crucial.
You’ll notice the care put into each level. The challenges and scenery are all wrapped together with the graphics into a well-baked game. In the tropical levels, for example, trees, bushes, and blooming flowers are everywhere, kneaded brilliantly into the environment.
The accompanying music will change from chill and quiet to loud and energetic throughout the game: in the menus, level selection screens, and the levels themselves. The music adds a fun atmosphere to the game and never gets out of hand even when the gameplay does.
Bake ‘n Switch is quite challenging, especially in the beginning. But it is also a fun, exciting game you’d love to play with your friends, on or offline. Unlocking characters and overcoming obstacles will get your blood boiling and expose your inner baker.
Developer: Streamline Games
Publisher: Streamline Media Group
Release Date: Aug. 21, 2020
Our Bake ‘n Switch review copy was provided by the developer.Some of our posts include links to online retail stores. We get a small cut if you buy something through one of our links. Don't worry, it doesn't cost you anything extra.