I Am Bread Review

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Posted September 1, 2015 by Chris White in Video Games

Developed by: Bossa Studios

Published by: Bossa Studios

Release date: 25th August (PS4)

Available on: PS4, PC

 

I endorse creativity in the games industry more than any other. Games can be a great way to tell a story in a less than conventional way, with all the emotional impact of the greatest novel or movie ever written or made. That is what I hoped for with I Am Bread. Unfortunately, with overly clunky gameplay and at times dreadful camera angles, I Am Bread just doesn’t deliver as well as it could have.

When you start playing, the happy soundtrack puts you in an uplifting mood, and the bright and breezy menu layout instils positivity and faith. It isn’t until you enter the first level that you are immediately frustrated with the task at hand—making the goal of turning a piece of bread to toast. As the title suggests, you are a piece of bread whose only goal in life is to get toasted.

Each of the eight main levels is a room in the house of a fictional man named Mr Murton, and with most normal houses, there is only usually one toaster. It is your task to use your brain to find ulterior methods that aren’t instantly visible, such as radiators and irons.

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At the start of every level, there is a bit of text in the form of a psychiatric report about Mr Murton, who is being treated for an undisclosed mental illness. He claims that a piece of bread is destroying his house, and his psychiatrist is growing more concerned with every report. If it wasn’t for the emotional story at its core, I Am Bread wouldn’t be half as appealing as it is.

To traverse the varied rooms, you can nudge the bread slightly with the analogue stick, and grab each corner of the slice with the four top trigger buttons. You cannot simply move left, right, up or down, nor can you climb or jump without struggling. If for instance, you are climbing up a cabinet and you are almost at the top, one over-zealous prod of the analogue stick can fling your bread a couple of yards towards the sticky, ant-infested floor.

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There are all sorts of obstacles in the way that slow your journey down, and one slight mistake can cost you greatly. If you do drop to the floor, you can lose your edibility, meaning the level will restart and the challenge of getting toasted will gradually lose its once appealing nature. Especially after the hundredth time. You’ll shout and scream as such a basic task becomes overbearing. I spent at least 40 minutes in total trying to get the slice of bread into the toaster on the first level—it was almost impossible.

The camera angles taint the experience further. When you’re struggling to manoeuvre the bread, the last thing you want is a close up of the crust. This seems to happen far too frequently, and trying to zoom out with the right stick is an unnecessary burden. The visuals aren’t too bad. It certainly isn’t a chore to take in the well-designed layout, and it would be nice if the view wasn’t constantly taken away from you with its troubled camera flaws.

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If you do enjoy I Am Bread, and the various issues don’t impact your play-through, there are plenty of modes available to you; all as different types of bread. Bagel Race allows you to race through the story levels in an attempt to finish the courses in the fastest time. Cheese Hunt asks you to locate hidden cheeses to cover yourself in (as crisp-bread!). Whilst Rampage lets you cause the most amount of destruction as a baguette. These modes aren’t that much of a departure from the main game, but it is good to see Bossa Studios try to create something different. Along with a Free-play mode, the most diverse mode included is Zero-G: gravity has gone and you are a slice of bread-turned spacecraft. This mode should have been its saving grace, but the controls are even harder to master here.

I Am Bread is a game made by a studio that knows how to have fun and not take itself too seriously. I cannot fault the originality and the talent that has gone into the game, but I just couldn’t get on with its awkwardness and its steep learning curve. Saying that, if I never played I Am Bread, I wouldn’t have been humming the incredibly catchy theme song for the past week.


About the Author

Chris White

Rock n' Roll Nerd, Gamer, Writer, Lover and procrastinator.