If you said “perils of baking” to me, I’d immediately conjure up images of Gordon Ramsey shouting at some poor soul about how raw their meat dish was. Thankfully, Super Perils of Baking is not some sort of nightmarish cooking sim, but instead a 2D platformer which is very reminiscent of similar games from days gone by.
Infact, Super Perils of Baking is a total remake of the original title, Perils of Baking, which was the first game released by developers Lillymo Games. You play as a rather scrawny but talented student baker who sets off to stop his rampant brother who has sided with a cursed baking hat. That’s all the setup you need really for a platformer.
To be fair, there is a rather charming verse written for each level, as well as the opening cutscene. On the subject of levels, there are fifty core levels with some hidden ones chucked in for good measure. You progress from one to another on a world map similar to the old Mario games, with a variety of settings including land, water, air and even mineshafts.
Now, I have to say that there are lots of very familiar features in Super Perils of Baking which are especially apparent to those who are familiar with the platformers from the ‘80s and ‘90s. The minecart levels are fun, but feel as if they have been lifted directly from Donkey Kong Country. Not only that, but each level has the letters from the word “BAKE” hidden within, much like “KONG” from the very same game.
In addition, the underwater levels feel incredibly similar to Super Mario Bros. even in terms of how they look. Again, it all works fine but the similarities are impossible to ignore. Apart from the baking skin which has been applied, I didn’t really see much that was different from the source material.
Each level also has a secret area where you can collect more cookies, and at first this also looked to be directly ripped from a different Mario game. However, as I played more of Super Perils of Baking these bonus areas turned out to be diverse and lots of fun, feeling like one of the freshest aspects of the game. It’s a real shame this feeling of originality and variety isn’t replicated throughout.
Still, the platforming is fun enough if not a little repetitive. You’ll earn a recipe for each of the various enemies you dispatch, filling up your cookbook. However, you’ve pretty much seen them all within the first half of the game, along with experiencing each level variant. As a result, the last few hours of the single player campaign start to feel like a bit of a grind. Even when battling your brother several times, each encounter plays out exactly the same, just with a few more things to dodge.
If you’re a collector, then you’ll get more from Super Perils of Baking as each level offers various accolades to achieve. Alongside the aforementioned “BAKE” letters and secret areas to find, there is also a time target to beat and a flawless run to earn if you take no damage. It really depends how much you enjoy the gameplay as to whether you’ll revisit to tick all of these off.
What doesn’t help is how your young baker handles. He is quite slippy and incredibly sensitive to your movement inputs, meaning you’ll often lose a heart by stepping on a spike or overcompensate and miss a jump, falling to your doom. You’ll also need to land directly on top of an enemy, because if you even drift to one side a smidge you’ll end up losing a heart. You can stack up to three hearts, collecting cookies and other sweet treats to refill them.
The other problem I had was judging jumps. Holding down sprint and jumping allows you to clear greater distances, but I would often get into a groove and when moving at speed one of my jump commands wouldn’t register, and I’d fall to my death. These control niggles certainly have a negative effect, but with patience can be overcome.
Overall there’s a good few hours of gameplay in Super Perils of Baking, especially if you want to collect everything. You can visit the shop to purchase hearts and a powerup if you’re struggling, as well as a new character if you collect enough cookies. New Game+ means there is more to do after you finish your first playthrough, if you should wish to.
Super Perils of Baking nails its theme, but a few small nuggets aren’t enough to prevent it feeling like a run of the mill platformer. Achievement hunters and completionists will benefit the most from this one.
Super Perils of Baking is available from the Xbox Store
- Engaging cooking theme
- Bonus levels are good fun
- Plenty to collect
- Controls frustrate
- Repetitive gameplay
- Lacks originality
- Massive thanks for the free copy of the game go to - Lillymo Games
- Formats - Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS4, PS5, PC, Switch
- Version reviewed - Xbox One on Xbox Series X
- Release date - 3 June 2022
- Launch price from - £7.99