Gedda Cake Demo Review – Super Sweet, Without the Tummy Ache

I talked about Gedda Cake previously on this blog, but I hadn’t been able to check out the demo yet at that time. And seeing as developer Flannel Bear Games launched their Kickstarter for Gedda Cake last week, now seems like the perfect time to give it a try. At the time of writing, the Kickstarter campaign is roughly 25% funded, so they have some ground to cover before the campaign closes on August 11th, 2022. I enjoyed the demo enough to back the full campaign and hope that you’ll give it a look as well.

Gedda Cake is a pixel art 2D metroidvania action-platformer. That genre is super saturated these days, but I think this game is bringing enough to the party to make it stand out. While this one is a much less traditional dragon game than I’d like to talk about on this blog, the lore and charming playable characters makes it worth a look.

Disclaimer: This will contain some light spoilers for the demo, if you care about that sort of thing.


In this game, you play as six young dragon siblings (Galacteon Draconis). Obviously, they aren’t exactly what most people picture when they think of dragons — there’s no leathery wings or razor fangs here. But those of you who prefer dragons with lots of personality over mindless beasts will find a lot to love here. So far, four of the playable characters have been revealed, and the remaining two will be shown off during the rest of the Kickstarter campaign.


Gedda’s love for food is immediately apparent.

The Galacteon Draconis of Leadership, attuned to the element of fire.

Gedda is the lazy brother and the leader. He is driven by food and just mentioning the word “cake” is enough to make him act. If it is edible, he is after it.

Gedda is the first playable dragon you meet. He’s round and red, with a belly that reminds me of Totoro, making him immediately endearing. But under his chubby exterior lies an explosive fire breath which can propel him backwards into dangerous situations in the game. He’s more of a drake than a proper dragon, with four limbs and no wings, but no less adorable. He seems to care very little about the plight of his missing siblings, only jumping to action at the mention of his lost cakes.

You regain health by eating cupcakes, and I love watching Gedda chow down.


Piccky makes a dramatic entrance.

The Galacteon Draconis of Humility, attuned to the element of water.

Piccky is the difficult sister and the fancy one of the group. She does not have patience with anyone besides Saline and is known for her snarky comments.

The other available character in the demo, Piccky, is drake adapted to life in the water. She wastes little time and energy explaining things to her brother; a lady of her stature has more important things to do. Her animations especially help show off her somewhat frilly personality, with her fancy little fan and her penchant for striking poses. Unlike Gedda’s more aggressive playstyle, Piccky fights with more precision and grace. Even if she’s a bit on the prissy side, she holds her own in combat.

Timing her attacks well results in extra damage.


Grabbu’s design is drastically different than the first two playable characters.

The Galacteon Draconis of Stability, attuned to the element of earth.

Grabbu is short-tempered, reckless, and is not known for using his brain often. He is all about punching first, and punching even more later.

Having not had the chance to play as Grabbu yet, all I can comment on is his design. He is more of a lindwurm, with a snake-like body and two forelimbs. I also like how he almost a bit Viking-inspired, judging by his horns and fluffy shoulders, and his apparent love of a good glass of (root?) beer. Everything you need to know about his personality can be summed up by this clip:


The ‘rocks-for-brains’ earth type is a bit of a played out stereotype, but at least the devs seem to be leaning hard into it and making it fun.


Look at the fluffy curly tail!!

The Galacteon Draconis of Serenity, attuned to the element of ice.

Catchoo is easily stressed, anxious and scared of almost anything. All she wants is to stay in her comfort zone. She is beloved by all her siblings.

Catchoo, the fourth playable dragon, was just revealed and she is the most adorable of them all! She’s a little fur-covered dragon, with horns like a Bantha and a cozy little ruff around her neck. And she has the cutest name. Much like myself, Catchoo loves tea, a good blanket, and comfort foods. And unlike her siblings, she is not made for hand-to-hand combat, preferring to attack enemies with ice magic from afar. Her playstyle is drastically different than anything we’ve seen so far, so I’m excited to see how that impacts combat in the full game.

Catchoo’s playstyle focuses on ranged attacks.

The Sacaritis

A few Sacariti NPCs you will meet throughout the game.

Sacaritis are another race of small, salamander-like creatures that serve as caretakers for the dragons and the world of Sugria. Each playable dragon has a Sacariti companion, who have distinct personalities that play off of their respective dragons. Sinder, bottom left above, keeps Gedda moving in the right direction, while Saline, bottom right above, is a more polite bridge between Piccky and the other characters. Sacaritis take up residence in the game’s main city of Salamandria, which will be slowly rebuilt as you rescue them around the world.


The game is set on the sugar-coated lands of Sugria, with at least 10 sweet-themed areas ranging from a chocolate jungle, a syrup cave, and an ocean of flan. In this universe, sugar is the most powerful source of energy from which all life ultimately formed. The Galacteon Draconis — children of the origin dragon — have lived and grown on Sugria for eons, until the other races grow tired of serving them. With most of the dragon siblings imprisoned and The Cakes (their food and energy source) hidden away, it’s up to the last sibling, Gedda, to rescue his brothers and sisters and get the cake.

While I have some questions regarding the morality of playing somewhat deified dragons to fight off other races that are in revolt, the story has just the right amount of cheek and charm without feeling cheesy. The worldbuilding is well thought out while at the same time leaving enough for the player to fill in with their own imagination. All of the characters seen so far have distinct and interesting personalities. I want to give special props to the writing and dialogue; plenty of indie games try too hard to be witty with drawn-out, quippy dialogue that just ends up somewhat grating. Gedda Cake, however, strikes a wonderful balance of being charming without wasting the players’ time. And as a bonus, each individual character has their own adorable dialogue noises.

The underwater sections have cute glowing lollipops in the background.

Graphically, the game’s pixel art style is, for the most part, gorgeous and cohesive. The world is vibrant, with hints of sugary sweets like lollipops and strawberries scattered through the background. Characters have absolutely adorable designs and animations, like Gedda’s round little belly that jiggles when he walks. Fighting animations are dynamic; it feels like there’s a lot of weight and action behind the movements. But I’m not a fan of Piccky’s running animation. The way her tails curls under makes it look like she’s propelling herself along the ground with it. (Update 8/29/2022: The devs have let me know they’ve updated Piccky’s run animation based on this feedback, and it looks a lot better!) Overall, the game is a joy to look at, full of bright colors without being garish, and things like enemy elemental type and race are easily readable.

Piccky’s running animation just looks a bit off.

Some enemies, in particular these plants that shoot rocks at the player, blend in with the background too much and are difficult to see. I couldn’t count the number of times I ran right up on one without realizing it was there. There’s also some slight readability issues where some things like doors and log platforms look like background objects, but you do learn to spot and understand them quickly.

My last graphical complaint pertains to the game world: on a planet made entirely of sugar, with syrup mines and chocolate jungles, I would like to see the aesthetics lean more in the direction. We get some of that already, especially with the cupcakes you eat to restore health, the power pickups being cakes, and sugar cubes being the currency of the world. But I think the devs could push that further and create something even more unique. Occasional background trees could look like marshmallows or something, or we see some pink and blue cotton candy clouds. I don’t think it would even hurt to add more unnatural colors to some trees, rocks, grass, etc. Maybe future level design could provide more of this, but I don’t think it could hurt to inject more liquid sugar sweetness into these early levels.

Not making these crystal look like rock candy seems like a missed opportunity.

Gedda Cake‘s core gameplay mechanic is switching between characters, each with their own playstyles. This occurs quickly and smoothly once you get the hang of it, and by the end of the demo, swapping between the two available playable characters starts to feel very satisfying. The first two dragons are distinct enough in their mechanics that it’s generally clear when you need to switch, and the game takes advantage of both their playstyles. With six characters total in the full game, I hope the rest continue to be so distinct and useful.

Other main mechanics of the game include an elemental system and a day/night system. Each dragon is attuned to a specific element, as are Sugria’s many enemies. You need to play smart, swapping characters strategically as they are more or less effective against different elemental matchups. You’ll take double damage from a type you’re weak against, while also not being able to cause any damage yourself. Swapping characters is quick and easy enough that it blends smoothly with this elemental system, and it forces the player to not stick with only one dragon. This interplay really strengthens the core combat mechanics. The day/night system is simple enough, with the player able to fast forward time at rest points. The change is not simply a visual one, however. Tougher enemies (and sometimes even entire boss fights) show up at night.

Some enemies require you to switch characters to defeat them. Piccky can’t damage this monster when it’s covered in plant matter. Gedda can burn that off, but he then is susceptible to the creature’s water attacks.

My first playthrough of the demo was honestly a bit rough, especially at the beginning. Gedda has a playstyle that makes fighting enemies on small platforms difficult, given his tendency to thrust forward when he attacks. The earliest areas didn’t necessarily feel like they were made for him and the way he plays. Difficulty is a core part of this game anyway, but the beginning felt especially punishing. Things started to feel a lot smoother once I unlocked the second character. However, between trying out the demo and writing this article, the devs took in a lot of feedback and made some tweaks to these beginning areas. The difficultly curve felt much better to me on a second playthrough. This new version of the demo is live now, so I encourage anyone who had tried the game previously to give it a second look and see how it feels.

There are some minor polish issues, like hitboxes extending past platform boundaries which made me hit my head while jumped occasionally.

A few last points on how the game plays: one, it’s more difficult than I expected, given the cute aesthetic and theming. But that’s not a bad thing; for the most part, it felt fair, and most difficult situations could be overcome by slowing down and approaching the problem differently. There are three difficulty levels (I was playing on the normal difficulty), as well as extensive assist options for those that want or need it. The only real issue I had with difficulty in the end was that sometimes it was hard to see offscreen enemies, like the plants or the final boss, both of which fire projectiles at the player. Not being able to see where those projectiles were coming from was definitely frustrating. I also started the demo with keyboard controls which was a mistake on my part (as I play way more often with a controller), but controllers are well supported and the game felt much tighter once I swapped off of my keyboard. I had some issues with overall game polish, like Gedda hitting his head a lot while jumping, or platform hitboxes extending past corners. The level design can feel a bit claustrophobic, almost like there’s not quite enough room between floor and ceiling. The platforming overall was a weaker part of the game for me, but I don’t feel like it negatively impacted my experience in any extreme way.

Sometimes you don’t have a great idea of where projectiles are coming from. In boss fights especially, maybe some sort of directional indicator would be useful?

Finally, I do want to give special mention to the devs handling of the game so far. I’ve provided feedback about the demo on their Discord, and they are receptive and responsive. I’ve seen them already implementing suggested changes. I also appreciate that they went into the Kickstarter campaign with a fully playable demo and such well thought out lore and game mechanics. That really gave me confidence in backing their campaign (coming from someone who very rarely backs Kickstarter projects), even with the anticipated October 2025 delivery date. But hopefully that gives Flannel Bear Games plenty of time to flesh out this game and provide the polish it needs to really make it shine.

Gedda Cake is not a high-flying, fire-raining, dragon-riding kind of dragon video game. But it does have cute, lovable draconic characters packaged with a fun new spin on the metroidvania platformer. The amount of sugary sweet charm oozing from this game has me very excited for its eventual full release.

Wishlist the game or download the demo from the Gedda Cake Steam page. The Kickstarter campaign is live now thru August 11, 2022. Follow the game’s progress on Twitter, or check out their Discord to provide feedback and chat with the devs. Gedda Cake is currently slated to release in October 2025.

Cancelled Dragon Games: Dragons that never were

It’s no secret that games get cancelled all the time. In the indie development scene especially, it’s likely that more games never see the light of day than get released. And who knows how many games are started by AAA developers that we never hear anything about?

Our little niche of dragon-centric games is no exception to this, and since most new dragon titles are tackled by indie devs, we’re even less likely to see finished products. Steam is too full to count of dragon games that have been abandoned by their devs, but today I’m focusing on just a handful of the most interesting or high-profile games that have been thrown in the bin.


Our first entry is a weird one. The first mention of Emberfall I had seen was from Youtuber Velocci’s 2021 Upcoming Dragon Games video, though he only shows a tiny bit of development footage. Emberfall was apparently supposed to be some sort of multiplayer action-adventure RPG where humans and dragons were pitted against each other. It sounds like the game was to have crafting and survival mechanics, all set in a typical medieval fantasy setting.

Emberfall concept art. Courtesy of

The one dragon model I’ve seen looks great. A couple of artists‘ Artstation pages still have some models up, and judging from the rest of their portfolios, we may have seen some more dinosaur-inspired dragons had the game been finished. I don’t know how far in development this game got before its cancellation, but, at least at the time of Velocci’s aforementioned video, it was not yet in a playable state.

Sometime around late 2020 or early 2021, however, nearly all mention of Emberfall disappeared from the web. Their website, Discord server, and social media pages were all wiped from existence, and all that remains appears to be some bits of concept art and game models scattered around the internet.

Emberfall dragon concept art. Courtesy of

So what happened? The consensus seems to be problems with the team’s lead developer, according to user Sound on the Draconia discord:

In regards to Emberfall, what actually happened that the lead dev was admittedly fairly absent most of the time and not too great at giving us direction (The artists at least) so their second in command ended up filling that role and helping out the artists, giving pointers and helping us make better end products. Lead dev turned on this guy out of the blue, near christmas might I add, and nuked from from the discord and blocked them everywhere.

From there they got really scary, coming at us with ndas and essentially demanding invoices for all our work. Might I add for the entirety of our time there we were all unpaid 🙃 With promises of payment once the game started selling. Honestly it was bad enough to nearly give me an anxiety attack with how stressful that day was lmao

And get this, when they asked for the invoice regarding George, one of the designers and environmental artists the Lead accused them of their prices being too high (Despite him giving her lowered rates which they agreed on to begin with). So yes, the artists, including myself did leave with all our work

But it was because the lead dev wouldn’t pay the guy who arguably deserved it the most.

With so little info to go on, it’s hard to say how good or bad this game could have been, especially when the multiplayer survival genre is already so saturated. It’s always sad to see an indie game fall prey to development and personnel issues, but maybe some of the remaining artists and developers will take up Emberfall‘s mantle someday.

Monster Hunter Dreams

Entry two is a bit less of a game and more of an individual’s passion project. Twitter/Reddit user Bluerith was using the Playstation 4 game Dreams to develop a game set in the world of Monster Hunter, but using the monsters themselves as playable characters. The project was planned as a sort of PvE survival RPG type game, though it was obviously in its early stages and limited by the Dreams platform. The plan was to be able to fight both hunters and other monsters, with survival as a primary focus.

The models and animations were looking fantastic. The world of Monster Hunter contains a huge variety of monsters besides dragon-types, but we did get to see a playable Rathalos (a classic wyvern-looking monster) in addition to a Velocidrome (a smaller raptor-like monster). I personally would have bought a copy of Dreams just to mess around as some of my favorite Monster Hunter creatures.

Flying around a map as a Rathalos looks like so much fun!

Sadly, in May 2021, Bluerith announced on their Reddit profile that they had been contacted by Capcom to discontinue work on the project. It’s a shame, but always a risk that’s run when working on fan projects for existing IPs. Bluerith seemed to be making great use of the Dreams game development tools, and it sounds like they’ve moved on to developing in Unreal for future projects. I hope to see more dragon-centric games from them in the future!


Probably the most widely-known dragon game casualty is Scalebound, developed by Platinum Games (of Bayonetta fame) and published by Microsoft. Scalebound was going to be an action RPG focused on a young male protagonist named Drew, apparently somehow transported from our modern world to the world of Draconis (enter cliché dragon-themed world name), where he fights alongside his bonded dragon companion, Thuban.

Moment-to-moment gameplay focused on Drew, who used weapons and abilities to fight. He also had a weird dragon arm — a visualization of his bond to Thuban — which granted him additional abilities like scanning enemies for information, healing his dragon friend, or allowing him to transform into a humanoid dragon form for greater fighting abilities. Thuban himself was AI controlled, though Drew could issue him commands such as where to attack and move. Drew could also enter a “Dragon Link” mode where he could directly control Thuban from Drew’s first-person perspective, but which left him vulnerable to enemy attacks. You could ride Thuban to some degree, but that appears to have been the extent of player control over him. The bond between the characters meant that if one was killed, the other would die as well. Some sort of four-player cooperative online multiplayer was planned, though we unfortunately never got the full details on how that was to be implemented.

Drew could issue commands to Thuban, but he would act on his own as well. Courtesy of IGN.

What I found most interesting about Scalebound as I researched the game was how much the deeper gameplay systems focused on your dragon companion. The story focused on Drew, but he was meant to be a fairly static character gameplay-wise, outside of leveling up, getting new weapons, and so on. But the player didn’t really get many customization options for him. Most of that was left for your dragon. There were three types of dragons: “rex,” which was Thuban’s default mode; a quick-maneuvering aerial “wyvern;” and a four-legged, slower and stronger “tank” dragon. Throughout the game, you could upgrade and shift your dragon between these types, which would influence his growth and attributes. This was meant to allow you to create an entirely unique dragon, built around your own gameplay and aesthetic preferences, and one that could be continually adjusted as you played. Additionally, you could purchase armor to augment your dragon’s offensive and defensive capabilities. Hideki Kamiya, the game’s director, really wanted these mechanics to emphasize your growing bond with Thuban, saying: “…The more you invest in that dragon and in your relationship with that dragon, the more that dragon becomes yours.”

Dragon customization was meant to be robust and a major focus of the game. Courtesy of IGN.

This focus on the bond with your dragon got me more and more excited as I read about it. I didn’t follow Scalebound closely when it was originally shown off; the goofy, kind of cringey protagonist turned me off of it and I assumed the dragons were just an afterthought. But throughout the game, your bond with your dragon companion was meant to grow and change, and that would reflect in the gameplay. You could unlock joint attacks, and Thuban would become more friendly and helpful. You weren’t meant to even be able to ride him at the beginning; you needed to grow closer before he would let you on his back. You could gain additional skill points to level him up by healing him or assisting him in battle. Much like Trico in The Last Guardian, Thuban was supposed to be a truly independent character, one that might not always respond perfectly to your commands. In the bit of gameplay we got to see, Thuban would fight alongside you, but he would also venture ahead sometimes as you traversed the world, making him feel more like an independent companion in the world, as opposed to some mindless NPC trailing along behind you awaiting your every command.

While I paid no mind to Scalebound‘s cancellation at the time, now I feel mournful for what could have been. It definitely didn’t look perfect: most people didn’t like the protagonist, the little bit of dragon riding we saw looked rather slow and not very interesting, and I can’t see how multiplayer makes any sense given the focus of the story on this particular human character. But it may have brought a new perspective on dragons in games, and it seemed like Kamiya was intent on that result.

Microsoft canned the project in early 2017, with the reasoning later being stated that it may not deliver on players’ expectations. Platinum Games has said that the blame falls on both sides, and that they weren’t experienced enough to produce what they had envisioned. Maybe Microsoft demanded too much, or Platinum just had too broad of a scope. Either way, fans were furious at the time, and Kamiya has continued bringing the game up over the years. He said that he had always wanted to make a game with dragons as companions instead of enemies, and that Scalebound is the title in which I can finally realize my dream.” I hope that he can still achieve that dream one day, so that all of us dragon-loving gamers can experience it.