It took all my strength not to fill this jam packed with baking puns. The Finger Guns review for Super Perils of Baking.
A brother’s battle is always one of competition, rivalry and one-upmanship. The story within Super Perils of Baking is no different. The story introduces itself with Brother 1 and Brother 2, both talented Bakers with skill and a healthy rivalry between them. Until that is, when his brother is overtaken by the curse of an evil baking hat. Wreaking destruction and havoc with immense danger Brother 1’s only recipe in hand is to stop his brother.
First impressions are those of nostalgia and retro pixel art goodness. I say nostalgia, but it should be said that I haven’t played the OG ‘Perils of Baking’ that was released in 2018. From doing some research you can certainly see the massive upgrades and love that has been poured into this game in what is considerably a short amount of time for a ‘remaster’ or really in fact a remake of the whole game.
The whole view of the game is completely different visually but retains the same fun nuances of the previous entry. When you look at the original game, it’s surprising to see that this was only four years ago. It has obviously taken inspiration from the classic Sega and Arcade games, however that inspiration has had a massive injection of love and nurture for this remake. Everything is bigger, better, louder and brighter than before. As a player you are almost thrown into the retro era of rocking up to an Arcade and putting your 50 cent or one pound coin in. It’s believable in every way that this game could have been made 20 years ago, even down to the synth-like music.
For review purposes I am going to assume you – yes you! – are coming from a place where you have not played the original like I. As everything that I have mentioned above is really all I can fairly compare from the original to the newest release. Super Perils of Baking is a 16 bit 2D side scrolling platformer that boasts 50 levels (plus a few more secrets) and has a ton of collectible stuff and different tasks to complete. Not to mention the game offers New Game+ to do it all again on extra hard mode (More on that later).
The story of the game is presented entirely in verse before every level, telling you the next adventure or progress that brother 1 has made into rescuing his brother. Whilst also giving you hints of what is to come.
Ready, Steady, Bake!
Unfortunately for Brother 1, the cursed hat has brought all his beloved baked goods to life, turning them to evil. This forms the enemies force you face as Brother 1. Enemies are vast and creative patisseries that all have different abilities to attack you. From easier enemies such as lifelike cookies, flaming marshmallows, to those harder to avoid popping burnt toast or a puffer fish muffin. A charming detail included is from defeating these enemies; after each enemy is destroyed you collect their recipe page book. This includes how to make them. Some enemies are as simple as jumping on their heads to wish them adieu. While others will require timed jumps to avoid their attacks or swift movements as they chase you.
This brings me neatly to my next point. Whilst everyone is still out playing Elden Ring, I am here playing my own Elden Ring. This game. I am almost 100% certain that this game has tricked the brain into releasing dopamine like you would winning in Vegas. High highs, and low lows. To explain further and to put it politely…it’s really ‘effing hard. It kicks my ass, but the party I throw when I return the favour ass is awesome. What adds insult to injury is that each level has a ‘goal’ time to beat it by. This, at first, is not really all that noticeable. As you go through the levels the ‘goal’ time will really give you an indicator of how long it will likely tell you you’ll do it within the first time from A to B.
For example, anything under a minute, you’re pretty safe in knowing you’ll likely do it in a few minutes the first time round. When it starts getting into 1 minute 20 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds and so on, that’s when you know your ass is getting kicked. Due to the fast paced platformer style, dodging enemies, dodging attacks whilst also trying to not die and go back to check points, becomes nigh-on impossible. It becomes embarrassing to know what you are probably getting into, just by noticing how big the ‘time goal’ is. Now, under 2 minutes may not seem that long but let me tell you that eventually your head will hang knowing what is to come. Lava, death drops, moving platforms, timed jumps, cookies that chase you to your death – they’re all here to stand in your way.
Have I sworn at this game? Have I shouted “ARGH I HATE THIS ****ing GAME”? Have I shouted profanities throughout my household? Did I nearly break my precious white PS5 controller? Yes to all the above. Did I equally scream as loud when I beat each difficult level that came my way? Was the thrill worth it to pass the finish line? (Que Wolf of Wall Street Meme) – Abso-effing-lutley.
Everytime I thought I was done and I was ready to call it quits, I somehow always came back. This is a title that enables those gaming scenario where you can spend absolutely ages on a level, walk away from it only to complete it the first time on your return and it to feel like a weight has lifted off your shoulders. There was a particular level I was absolutely certain I was going to quit the game on, 2 plus hours later, multiple ‘breaks’ later. The adrenaline of seeing the exit sign was thrilling. There were some levels that did feel impossible and at times my biggest gripe was the reaction time. At times it felt that the game slid in area’s it naturally wouldn’t slide or the game would have so many jumps consistently that it wouldn’t register the second to last or last one. This can cost you a hell of a lot of progress because there is only usually around one checkpoint per level. It can feel demoralising to lose in what feels like something that is due to the fault of the mechanics and not the user. However, there were ‘easy’ wins. Levels where you as the player begin to learn the tropes and tricks of the game design, anticipate what’s to come and beat it before it beats you. The ride of smashing out three or four level’s was such a trophy wielding moment.
The swimming and flying mechanics mirrored the small gripe I had with the handling of brother 1. There were times where it felt that I was almost pushed into enemies. I appreciated that they are trying to replicate flying or swimming in a way that does feel lighter with more flexibility in the movement, but at times it felt inconsistent to the actions I wanted to do, causing me to become rageful and use all my lives to just push through. Probably not the best way to handle a situation and I wouldn’t recommend it for real life either, but it did work occasionally.
Speaking of lives, despite the difficulty of Super Perils of Baking, the game is extremely forgiving in allowing you mercy of unlimited lives. The only thing you have to bargain for is your perseverance at times. Brother 1 does have a health bar however, and hit enough times will send you back to the start or your recent checkpoint. In the left hand corner of the screen, brother 1’s health is made up of 3 pixel hearts, each representing a hit. What is especially handy and further kinder of the game is the ability to use the Chef’s Hat. Like most retro-era games, ‘life’ comes from the age old format of collecting something. For Mario it is coin. For Sonic it’s rings. Here with Super Peril Baking, its cookies! If you manage to bag yourself enough snacks you gain a chef’s hat.
The hat acts not only as a safeguard to protect your lives but also gives you the power to attack enemies back with none other than a whisk. It grants you the power to use this as a melee weapon or simply just lob the whisk at the enemy. It is extremely handy in those hard to get through areas and sometimes can be an extra strategic play. The game has a shop in which you are able to buy lives, or a ‘spare hat’. This spare hat can be accessed when you lose your other hat by pressing an action button. You can also choose to keep your ‘spare hat’ for any point during your run as a lifeline This flings the hat in the air which you must actually catch with your noggin. Did I fail to catch it and it fall down a hole? No comment.
Be careful though, as the more you die, the less cookie progress you have to fulfil your heart lives. It can become a tricky balancing act between trying very hard not to die, and calculating that you only have one life in your next attempt and therefore you are more likely to die because one hit and you’re back to the start.
The shop can be used strategically in tricky situations like these and there were times where it feels there is so much ahead of you you can’t possibly survive. The crevices are too tight to jump in without getting hit by enemies or if you are not quick enough you’ll fall to your death to invisible platforms. In this scenario your cookie currency can be consumed to buy extra lives, a spare hat or even change character when you unlock this ability.
These charming quirks make Super Perils of Baking loveable in a ‘I want to squish it way’ It adds an extra layer to just running and dodging from A to B and hoping you make it to the end. You can go back to previous levels collecting cookies, buy a spare hat from the shop, or simply close your eyes, press the forward action and hope for the best. Your choice of play is really up to you.
Levels are layed out almost on a flat board as such with levels ahead of you locked until you complete your current quest. You can then level select and check back through for the progress you’ve made in regards to collectibles and also check an overall completion progress for the level which is handy.
As well as getting to the finish line of each level, players can choose to collect the letters ‘BAKE’ along their way which will be hidden in different areas. Or try their luck at finishing the game within a time limit, doing a ‘flawless run’ where you complete the level without dying, or finding a super secret bonus level hidden within each level. Or all of the above if you really feel like going all out.
There is much variety to be had among the 50 levels, it would be easy in platforming to get bored but the pace, music and location of levels change constantly. Although they all follow a similar formula in their sub environments (water, air, land), there is no repetitive pattern within this formula.
Players can expect to platform on land, manoeuvre flying by balloon, attempting not to drown whilst swimming and also driving a minecart. The minecart levels I particularly enjoyed as it uses height well to keep up pace and adventure as you fly through the air smashing upon the heads of your foes dodging lava pits.
The Cherry on Top
If you’ve not played the original, It’s not a spoiler here to say that the boss whom you are fighting is obviously your brother. Brother 2. On every 10th level you will face him and with every new encounter he will bring something new to the (dinner) table.
It is extremely reminiscent of a Sonic and Eggman battle where you always jump on his head but then he always comes back with something new up his sleeve. This sounds like it would be boring, but I had loads of fun being familiar with what I knew in how to hit him but also wondering what was around the corner to try and make my blood boil.
Overall, although I have mentioned some gripes such as movement, handling or the rage induced blood boiling I felt, I hold Super Perils of Baking in high esteem. The game is nostalgic, fun, colourful, with lots to do and a story to match. The narrative for me felt it got a bit serious all of a sudden whilst also being a bit goofy at the end. It felt a bit unbalanced compared to the rest of the verses throughout the game but it is a very wholesome message that would be appropriate for all ages.
If you are a trophy hunter, the trophies are probably one of my personal highlights of the game as they mostly revolve around different ways you die. This did, at times, alleviated the frustration I felt at myself for dying and is almost breaking the fourth wall in knowing exactly what it is doing in a tongue in cheek way. You will be rewarded for your efforts also as there are bonus levels should you collect absolutely everything. It’s difficult to not recommend this game to anyone who might be a fan of the genre it fits within. The game is appropriate for mostly all ages too. The price is bang for your buck on the stores. Get bakin’ folks!
Super Perils of Baking is a 16 bit, 2D side scrolling platformer and an ode to the retro game genre in terms of variety, difficulty and platformer peril. It’s jam packed with things to do and collect but you’ll need a sprinkling of rage induced dopamine to get you through the enemies, highs and lows. There’s hours of fun that’s certainly worth your time, especially for the price point.
Super Perils of Baking is available now on PS5 (review platform), PS4, Nintendo Switch , Xbox One and S|X, and PC via Steam.
Developer: Lillymo Games
Publisher: Lilllymo Games
Disclaimer: In order to complete this review, we were provided with a promotional copy of the game. For our full review policy, please go here.
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