Designed specifically with four-player co-op in mind, Bake ‘n Switch has a strong emphasis on multiplayer gameplay. In fact, the multiplayer component is required; there is no single player mode whatsoever. Even though there is an online component, the experience is marred with imbalance and technical issues, something that is inexcusable for a $30 digital download.
Selecting from a roster of chefs each with their own unique ability, the goal is to gather walking bread buns and chuck them in the oven. The gimmick is that bread can be tossed into other bread, which now makes a bread count for two points. This combining feature is how to make scores swell; the bigger the bread, the more points it will yield when baked. However, there is a large risk-reward aspect of this stacking feature as it can be heart breaking when you accidentally toss a 20+ bread in the water, losing it forever. Along the way, slime enemies will cover bread in goop and must be punched away, team work is necessary to toss breads into the oven, and the timer is always against the player. Each playable chef also has a unique ability to help combat enemies or help with the bread making process but found these abilities are usually harder to use and take too much time.
The biggest frustration comes from the lack of coordinated difficulty. Meaning, the game was designed for four local players in mind because the only way to earn the highest 3-star rank on the majority of campaign stages is to have a full team. A team of two working as efficiently as possibly will struggle just to earn a single star. Making matters worse, the only way to unlock new stages is to have a set amount of stars. For example, the first barrier requires 10 stars to unlock but my two-player co-op team were only able to earn six. We needed a third or four player to get those higher scores but this simply just was not an option with local co-op. Online multiplayer is available but focuses on PvP or team battles, not progressing in the campaign.
From a technical stand point, the game chugs as well. Not only are there occasional frame drops, the player has to sit through a dozen loading screens before you can play the actual game. The game also crashed and booted me back to the main Switch menu a couple times. The best part are the adorable bread bun creatures. What is strange though is their severe obsession with cannibalism. You see, each bun doesn’t simply merge with another bread. Nope, bread number 1 eats bread number 2 to become bigger. I mean, bread isn’t even meat so having a dough-based product survive by eating other dough-based creatures is weird and sort of unsettling.
Bake ‘n Switch stumbles at every turn and isn’t really playable unless you have three other players sitting right next to you. Even then, would your friends want to fumble with an unstable game or play Overcooked or any Mario Party game instead? Instead of satisfying players with delicious carbs, this overpriced digital download serves plain white bread that was burnt to a charred black using the max setting on the toaster.
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By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com