Monsters Ate My Birthday Cake is a rip-roaring puzzle adventure romp, in which you set off to hunt down the cruel critter who swiped your sponge.
Don't let them eat cake
The game starts out on the morning of Niko's birthday, when he makes the horrifying discovery that a monster has stolen his birthday cake. He sets out, with his dog Bazooka to explore Gogapoe Island to find out which particular fiend took it - and get the cake back!
What follows is a light-hearted and enjoyable, top-down puzzle adventure with shades of Zelda about it. Monsters Ate My Birthday Cake (MAMBC) is set over a series of four different worlds, each with a ton of increasingly tricky levels.
Each level in Monsters Ate My Birthday Cake presents a unique puzzle in which you need to to figure out how to collect all the pieces of cake from the maze-like environment and progress to the next level. There are optional challenges to aim for in each level, such as collecting all the coins or freeing trapped villagers.
You start off controlling just Niko, but as you wander through the worlds, you make friends with different weird and wonderful monsters who join you in your crusade. Then it's a case of using each monster's different skill (burrowing, smashing, screaming, etc.) to overcome the obstacles and puzzle your way out of the level.
There are little side quests scattered through MAMBC which inject a bit of variety where you have to help people out, and there are opportunities to buy goodies in the shop with coins you've collected on your adventures.
The control system in MAMBC is based around drawing the path you want the character to take. While it does allow for some precise movements, I'm still not completely in love with this method as it's slow and cumbersome at times.
Zooming and panning around the levels is fiddly too, although it's possible to cut to the location of a particular monster just by clicking on the corresponding picture in the monster bar at the top of the screen.
The look and feel of Monsters Ate My Birthday Cake makes up for any qualms you might have about the control system. As you might expect from a game developed by Cartoon Network, MAMBC delivers creative cartoon graphics and lashings of off-the-wall humor.
The dialog in the game (and there's plenty of it) is all text-based and generally witty, bringing back fond memories days of the old LucasArts SCUMM games like Day of The Tentacle and Sam & Max. The personality of all the characters in MAMBC really shines through. All have their own traits and are imaginatively created.
A well-baked puzzle adventure
Monsters Ate My Birthday Cake is a charming and challenging game with plenty to keep you coming back for another bite at it.