GAME NAME: I Am Bread
DEVELOPER(S): Bossa Studios
PUBLISHER(S): Bossa Studios
GENRE(S): Bread Simulator
RELEASE DATE(S): August 25th, 2015
I Am Bread. And I am just the worst. Look at me, covered in ants and cat litter. I’ve been on the floor; on a skateboard. I have salt and bits of broken glass and I am on top of the TV for some reason. I am just terrible.
I Am Bread joins the recent crop of games that simulate you in an odd persona (like Goat Simulator), and just throws you into a physics environment to do with it what you will (like Goat Simulator). And while there is no time limit, you do have an over-arching objective – you are bread, but you must become toast (like Goat Simu–no wait).
That is your ultimate goal, by any means necessary. Now, as a simple slice of whole grain, you may be wondering “how will I, a sentient combination of yeast, flour, and wheat, traverse this kitchen to the toaster, sans limbs?” You’re a well-spoken slice of bread in this mental exercise. Well your corners act as rudimentary hands, able to grip and hold onto surfaces and objects. Presses of shoulder buttons will grab a surface, then you flip yourself along – back shoulder buttons, flip!, front shoulder buttons, flip! along the counter or walls. Being on the ground, however, makes you inedible very quickly. Lose your edible-ness, and it’s game over. Watch your “grip meter” as well. You can hold on to stuff, but not forever. Lose your grip and you will fall to your sad, inedible demise – measured by a percentage scale that loses value very rapidly if you touch the floor.
A few of these losses will rack up very quickly in your first forays as a bread, as the tutorial stage is not helpful at all. But with enough stage failures, a magic “Golden Marmalade” will appear that makes you invincible, so you can experiment with alternate routes, or really just figure out what is going on. And although you must become toast, there’s not always a toaster available – you may need to use a hot lamp, a broken TV set, or another heat source to achieve your goal.
The controls are goofy – reminiscient of the track simulator QWOP – but once you get the hang of them, they make sense. The story and free play stages then become more a puzzle, where you can map out your path to a heat source before setting off on your adventure. Additionally, there is a bagel race where you roll through a track, cheese hunt mode (find some cheese), and revenge mode, where you are the world’s angriest baguette. The different modes add a bit of variety to the game, but the puzzle aspects of the story stages are a bit more replay-worthy. The dual-grading of getting toasted quickly while also remaining edible is a fun, quirky challenge that is worth a couple plays.
The graphics are functional and everything is easy to identify; the sound is similar. The music fits the game very well also; it’s quirky and jaunty, just a little off-kilter. Bread may not be very nice, but it is tasteful in its music selection.
The game can get pretty challenging as well, but you deserve it, you nasty slice of bread. The interstitial exposition bit between story stages tell of a man going through a severe mental health episode, caused entirely by you. This poor guy thinks someone has been breaking into his house, smashing up his stuff, and leaving toast in places where there should not be toast. You, you bad little bread, are the cause of all this. So suck it up and go become toast. Besides, although the game can be difficult, it is quite satifying to solve a stage and get cooked.
While the pricetag of $13 is a little high, the game is much more solid and well-realized than other physics toys games. The variety in stages all have their own “A-ha!” moments, so while the additional modes aren’t great, replaying the regular stages is a good bit of fun. Get past the initial control wonkiness and you’re golden.