It’s not too often that cooking simulation games hit the market and produce a lot of hype behind it. The last big successful title in this category was the classic Cooking Mama, along with the more recent Overcooked series, that still continue to be a blast to play. Waku Waku Sweets is another cooking simulation title that intends to stir things up on the Nintendo Switch, introducing new mechanics that take advantage of the Switch’s motion controls, and a fun story to go along with it. Anyone who’s looking for a flavorful title that’s all about delicious pastries and a focus on becoming the best pastry chef, then Waku Waku Sweets just might be the one for you!
What to Expect
Unlike other titles that focus their attention towards making more diverse meals, Waku Waku Sweets is primarily focused on confectionaries and learning how to make the best use of your ingredients. You’ll be gathering materials from various locations and trying your best to ensure that customers leave your store satisfied with their treats. The way in which you shake, mix, and tilt your ingredients together will determine how tasty your pastries will be, so making sure to take advantage of the motion controls will be your friend. Along the way, you’ll need to get to know people around town in order to discover what their likes and dislikes are, while participating in contests will help to build your skill level and reputation. The more you converse with others around you the more you’ll learn!
Lime is the main character in Waku Waku Sweets and her goal, much like any upcoming pastry chef, is to become well revered in the world of confectionery. On a visual level, Waku Waku Sweets maintains a nice polished look, with character designs standing out in their own way. That helps to create a more unique experience since every character you interact with will behave differently, and provide their own advice to assist you. There really isn’t much of a world to explore since you’re really only moving from one location to the other via selection, but in terms of the locations you visit they’re definitely fitting for the title. You’ll often need to venture out and explore the town in order to meet new people, and come up with new pastry ideas to make sure your skills continue to improve. Locations are colorful and full of life, giving you the impression that Lime’s world is vast and bursting with imagination.
This is perhaps the one area where we may have to show some disappointment in because well, quite frankly, the music in Waku Waku Sweets isn’t very appetizing. Sure, its upbeat and cheerful tones certainly encourage us to whip up the sweetest cakes the town has ever seen, but it just doesn’t resonate well with us after a while. Its repetitiveness often gets in the way of things and after some time, you’d rather just turn off the music and put on your own to keep things interesting. Another downside is that characters don’t have any voices and so you often miss out on a lot emotional connectivity, since all you’re really seeing are expressions and limited movement.
The icing on the cake of course comes primarily from the gameplay, which is the main highlight of Waku Waku Sweets. Who’s really picking this game up to be blown away by the graphics and music anyway? The whole premise of Waku Waku Sweets is to get your hands dirty and create as many pastries as you possibly can, while having a blast doing so. Sure the other two areas could use some extra fine tuning to help better accentuate the exciting aspects of baking, but ultimately we just want to cut strawberries, measure flour, mix everything together and see the results of our loving work pay off. There really isn’t much else to do other than baking but if that’s what you really enjoy then Waku Waku Sweets will take up a great deal of your time.
It’s especially the case when you’re playing with friends and watching each other go nuts trying to whip up a nice looking cake for your colleagues and customers. Speaking of colleagues, in Waku Waku Sweets the more you surprise your colleagues with presents, the more recipes you’ll receive as a result. The same can be said for customers you run into along the way and so it’s encouraged that you talk to everyone around you so that recipes can be collected, and your skill levels can improve. Along with giving your pastries a nice make-over, so too can your room along with yourself! Being a pastry chef isn’t just about making others feel good, you also need to please yourself at times and so in Waku Waku Sweets you’re able to visit the beauty salon to uphold your trendy looks.
There’s quite a bit to do outside of just baking all day which is a nice little addition, and allows you to personalize Lime to your liking. Once all of that is done, you're also able to participate in contests where you compete to earn rankings and through that you can also collect new recipes. Each challenge gets progressively more difficult and that’s where the true fun of Waku Waku Sweets comes into play.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
Cooking games will always stay within its niche category but there’s always so much fun to be had when you have friends alongside you to play it. Oddly enough it is only single player and so you’ll likely be passing your Joy-Cons over to your friend to enjoy the experience, which is a bit of a let down. Especially since there are other cooking simulation titles on the market that allow for multiplayer and create an entirely new experience. That’s definitely another downside to Waku Waku Sweets because truthfully, the game could excel so much more if it had the option for multiplayer, especially online multiplayer. Baking pastries is certainly a tranquil experience when done solo but imagine the amount of fun you’d have if it were online, and you’re racing around trying to gather ingredients before time runs out. We can only wish for a Waku Waku Sweets sequel perhaps, if that ever happens…*sigh*..
Waku Waku Sweets makes excellent use of the Switch’s motion control to ensure that everything feels seamless as you bake.
Visually the game is very anime driven which of course is never a bad thing.
Baking pastries is really a fun experience because you actually learn a lot about how the process works.
No voice acting really steals a lot of the character emotions away.
No online or multiplayer really does hurt the game as well, especially when there are other titles on the market that supply both.
Honey's Final Verdict:
One thing about Waku Waku Sweets that’s great is that you really don’t have to be an expert at baking to know what’s going on. You simply jump right in and bake to your heart's content, which is nice. The game does a splendid job of teaching you how to play and once you develop an understanding, things are truly fun. It just sucks that we can’t play online, let alone locally with multiple friends to make the experience that much more exhilarating. Well, here’s hoping that we see more cooking titles on the Switch!
Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.
A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and watch me play on twitch.tv/honeysgaming ! Take care!