Cupcake Academy from Blue Orange caught the eye of my child the minute I pulled it out of the box.. because cupcakes. What kid doesn’t like cupcakes?! So it was quite easy to entice her to play this new cooperative speed logic challenge game.
If you’re a fan of Dr. Eureka (who isn’t?), then I definitely think you’ll like Cupcake Academy. Beyond both being super colorful and fun looking, they both require you to use your noodle to figure out how to get something in order by moving other things around. In Dr. Eureka you’re pouring test tube into test tube, but in Cupcake Academy it’s upside-down nested baking cups.
How to Play
To start, each player is given 5 nested baking cups that are placed face-down on the middle plate of the three plates in front of them. The goal of the game is to communicate well so that you, as a team, can complete all of the Cupcake Academy “assignments” within 7 minutes. For 2 players you’ll have to tackle 14 assignments, 12 for 3 players, and 10 for 4 players and all of the assignments are specific to the number of players so the cards are easy to read. Each card will show how the three plates in front of each player should look. Now, because the baking cups are nested, the assignment will only show the top most baking cup on each plate, so the others need to be neatly hidden beneath. Thankfully, your three plates just need to show the correct baking cup (or empty plate) but they DO NOT need to be in the correct order right to left.
So how is this cooperative? Well, not only do all of you have to get the baking cups in front of you to match the assignment card, but you’ll have to give some of your baking cups to your teammates so they can complete their portion of the assignment. Moving the baking cups around is a bit like a shell game. You can always put a bigger one on a little one, but never a little one on top of a big one. You can move one at a time, there can only be 1 cup showing on a plate, and you have to use one hand. To give a cup to another player you can put it on the one shared plate in the middle of the table, then your teammate can grab it. You can never move a cup to their plate directly. So it’s a lot of shuffling around baking cups!
Once everyone has the correct cups showing in front of them and nothing is on the shared plate, the assignment is complete and you draw a new card. The baking cups stay where they are so it’s a new challenge each time you play. Finish your cards in the allotted 7 minutes and you win! Whew! There’s an “Achievement Checklist” in the box where you can track your improvement once you’ve mastered the basic Cupcake Academy game.
I enjoyed Cupcake Academy! It was such a nice change of pace to play a frantic speed game as a team. We were helping each other out and cheering each other on when someone got stuck with a doozy. And we were all relieved when we got finished with literally SECONDS to spare! Which brings me to the one thing I didn’t like – the sand timer. Don’t bother with it. Use your phone instead, so no one has to watch those final seconds. One thing I really liked is that you go in knowing it’s going to take 7 minutes to play, so with set up/clean up maybe 10 total. Who doesn’t have 10 minutes to play a game that will challenge everyone in the family while bringing you together as a team?
Cupcake Academy Stats:
~$22 at Amazon also check your local toy and game store
Ages 8 and up
Game was provided free of charge from the manufacturer with no guarantee of review (I’ve got to like it).