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The Great Cake Escape

Time to smuggle some tools baked inside one delicious three-layered cake! The bigger the tool, the more points it’s worth, but the higher the likelihood that it will be spotted by the guards.

In The Great Cake Escape by WizKids, players are bakers, smuggling escape tools into a prison. Players take turns sliding tools between the layers of the cake board, and at the end of the game the tools that stick out the most are discarded.

Gameplay

The three-layered cake is set in the middle of the table. There is a gap between each layer. Each player chooses a color and takes the eleven matching tools. Ten of the tools range in different sizes from the smallest, worth one point, to biggest, worth ten points. The point values are written on each of them a number of times equal to their point value. So, the pickaxe has the value six written on it in six different places, while the screwdriver has the value two written on it twice. The eleventh tool is the disguise token.

Players take turns choosing a tool and sliding it into one of the two gaps in the cake. While sliding, you must hold the tool at a constant angle and push in a consistent direction. If any pieces get knocked out of the cake as the result of a piece being added, it is returned to the box (these do not score in any way at the end of the game). However, if your disguise token is ever knocked out of the cake by another player, it allows you to reclaim one of your tools that have been previously knocked out (if any). The disguise token is not worth any points at the end of the game.

Once all players have run out of tools, you check which piece is most visible in each layer. A piece’s visibility is based on how many times its point value can be seen (if a point value number is only partially visible it counts as half). The most visible piece on each layer of the cake is then removed from the cake. If there is a tie, all the most visible pieces are removed. The point values of the removed tools will be subtracted from their players’ final scores.

All remaining tools are then removed from the cake and given to their respective players, who count up their combined point values, subtract the points for any removed tools, and the player with the most points wins.

The Great Cake Escape Components

Review

The Great Cake Escape is lots of fun and a silly good time. It’s the kind of game that you don’t take too seriously, but at the same time it’s quite satisfying when you manage to score one of the larger tools or push your opponent’s piece from out of the cake.

There are a couple of different elements in the gameplay tha come together nicely here. There is the dexterity element, of considering the size of your piece and trying to push it through into the cake, which grows more challenging as the cake fills up. But there is also a certain push-your-luck aspect, too, each time you add a new piece and try not to push others of your pieces out. You are also trying to remember where you put each of your tools and trying to guess how they might have been moved inside the cake. Choosing which layer to add each tool to and at what point in the game to do so is also a fun challenge.

The game undeniably has a great table presence, and looks unique as the 3D cake game board is set on the table. The cake itself and the tools are both sturdy and the art design on both is bright and colorful. We did have some concerns over the tabs used to connect the layers of cake and keep a space between them. The cake has to be disassembled to fit back into the box and the edges of the tabs are a bit flimsy and look like they would start to come apart over extended use, making assembling the cake more difficult.

The Great Cake Escape is different, fun, fast, and incredibly easy to teach. You can be set up and playing in under three minutes. It plays in about ten to fifteen minutes, which is the perfect length for the gameplay and also makes it easy to say, ‘just one more round!’.

Pros: Unique game mechanics and look, plays quickly, fun combination of skills

Cons: Tab game pieces could be sturdier

Disclosure: we received a complimentary review copy of this game.