Atari 2600 – Piece o’ Cake

b_pieceocake_front

My favorite cake: three layers with nothing on it except a single cherry.


Another arcade game from the U.S. Games guys who only released a few titles in 1982 and then vanished.
And just like all their other “gems”, this one sold not particularly well and is fairly rare today.

Here’s the gist:
You are a chef and you have to build cakes.
If you know anything about cake making, you know how it works:

Traditionally, the chef is on top of a wall.
Below him is a conveyer belt, and empty plates move on it from left to right.
The chef then takes random ingredients from a chute on the left and tries to drop it on the plate.
If he hits, he then takes another ingredient and tries to make the perfect cake which consists of three layers of different sizes.
I hope he doesn’t forget the cherry which he has to pick up from the right and drop on top of the cake.
He is then awarded lots of points.
If he misses the plate too often or puts ingredients in the wrong order a hole will open below the conveyor belt and the shoddy cake will land in the dumpster.
The chef, of course, dies if he f*cks up a lot.
One of the reasons why he’s paid so much.
The conveyer belt speeds up over time, making his job way harder.

I gotta give it to them: that’s a pretty neat idea.
Nothing groundbreaking gameplay-wise but choosing the right ingredients and putting them together without missing the plate is tense, especially as the conveyor belt gets faster.
That’s sadly also the biggest problem.
It gets way too fast way too early and completing a cake results in pure luck.
The seven gameplay variations are only harder difficulties and you have to be insane to choose the hardest one.
The choppy controls aren’t helpful either.
What I really like tho are the graphics.
The chef is a big guy, detailed and always looks really sad.
Like he really hates his job but deep down knows that he deserves the pain.
It’s charming.
A finished cake looks also very tasty.

Piece ‘o Cake might be a good game for ycollectors who like obscure titles.
I enjoyed it for a short time and it saddens me (not really) that an interesting game like this is so frustratingly hard.
Could’ve been good.
Try it!

5/10

ztur6u56

 

 

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