Review: I am Bread (PC)

Fresh from the Oven

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 Developer: Bossa Studios
 Publisher: Bossa Studios
 Genre: Action, Adventure, Indie, PuzzleSimulation
 Release Date: Apr 9, 2015
 Price: $12.99 (Buy it here)
For months now I’ve been hearing about I am Bread. Everything I’ve seen and heard gave me the vibe that, should I brave those maddening waters, I would be in for a crazy, nonsensical game like Goat Simulator. While I am Bread never fails to feel ludicrous, I came away quite happy  to have experienced a journey of motivated carbohydrates and madness. Who knew making breakfast could be so entertaining?

 

Story

You wouldn’t think a game that centers itself around mobilizing a faceless form of sustenance could have any form of interesting narrative. The concept in itself is so ludicrous, there’s no way any sane person could fathom it.
That’s exactly right. No sane person could fathom it. A crazy person could, though. That’s exactly what Mr. Murton, the owner of our heroic loaf of bread, is portrayed to be. Between each level, we’re given the minutes of Mr. Murton’s most recent session with his therapist. Growing increasingly paranoid, Murton expresses concern that the bread he had at home was alive, driven to turn itself into toast each day, and possibly capable of things far more sinister.
To I am Bread‘s credit, the psych evaluations are a clever, well crafted way to give its ridiculous premise some backbone. It presents some interesting dark humor in a foolish, impossible world.

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Content Warning

Though the world of I am Bread is completely off the wall, there’s little here of any concern. We do start to get a look inside the mind of a man coming unhinged and a few things that occur genuinely lean toward dark story beats.
Apart from a glimpse at insanity, I am Bread is just kooky fun for the whole family. There is no violence or coarse language to be concerned with. There is no bawdy lascivious content to shield your eyes from. I suppose one could argue that some form of magic was giving the bread a life of its own, but come on…that’s just crazy.
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Gameplay

I am Bread is a physics-based game where you’ll have to grab, drag, sling, and otherwise manipulate the environment to get yourself to some sort of heat source and evenly toast both sides of your bleached, enriched, glutenous grains.
Without a doubt, I am Bread features some of the wonkiest controls I’ve ever experienced in a game. First off, this isn’t your typical mouse-and-keyboard PC title. If you don’t have an Xbox or PlayStation controller to go carb-hopping, you will not have an enjoyable time.
Instead of other controller-based games that make heavy use of the face buttons, you’ll only really need to focus on those four little bad boys on the top of your controller. That’s right folks, I am Bread ties each shoulder button to a corresponding corner of the slice. It will have you flipping end over end or shimmying around. Hey, when you don’t have a regular pair of legs, you’ve got to figure something out, right? Be mindful though—your little bread hands can only latch onto a surface so long before you’ll lose your grip.

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Throughout the game, you’ll play a wide variety of levels. I’m actually quite pleased and surprised by the amount of variety it is able to offer up. Though you’ll start in a kitchen, you’ll be preparing toast all over Mr. Murton’s house: the bedroom, lounge, garage, and more. There’s a fantastic sense of satisfaction to be gleaned from exploring each of the areas, interacting with their various objects, and ultimately figuring out how to warm yourself up without becoming inedible. You’ll have to solve each level’s “puzzle,” reaching your goal while keeping yourself consumable. Spending too much time on the floor or other hazardous surface will render you contaminated and you’ll have to start again. 
I am Bread comes with a surprising wealth of game modes to play around with. If you are disappointed by the thought you’d be confined to a life of Wonder Bread, you’ll be excited to hear there’s a bigger world beyond the bag. Other game modes include things like Cheese Hunt, where you’ll play as a fragile cracker hunting for a delicious pairing; in Bagel Race, you’ll have to book it by rolling through a course; Rampage requires you to cause as much damage as a baguette can, and more. They’re all unique and fun in their own right, providing some welcome diversity to Bread‘s lineup.
While the game is fun and gives you several ways to experience it, it’s not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. The game still has its fair share of glitches and bugs. On top of that, mobility (or the lack thereof) can become frustrating at times. The speed with which you can lose a hard-fought level can also become downright disheartening at times.

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Presentation

Based on its aesthetic, I am Bread is at first glance somewhat bland. With a few exceptions, it’s a world full of objects we see in our every day lives. There are a few things that stand out as somewhat visually interesting, but for the most part Mr. Murton’s estate is just like the home you or I live in—quite ordinary. In speaking to the game’s visuals, textures can feel somewhat dull at times and visual glitches occasionally detract from the experience, but the environments are otherwise familiar settings with a look that fails to be anything exceptional.
The game’s soundtrack is great. Upbeat jazz band tunes match the tone of the game beautifully. You’ll be tapping your toes and bobbing your head as you throw a jar of jam to the floor or sling that rubber ducky off the counter top. It’s really quite a nicely done score I’d happily listen to independently of the game, and it helps tie everything together quite well.

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Conclusion

At the end of the day, I am Bread is a game anyone with some patience and a penchant for the somewhat unusual experiences should check out. The controls are somewhat clumsy at first, some bugs need squashed, and maneuverability can feel burdensome, but those shouldn’t be enough to deter the curious. A clever campaign, fantastic soundtrack, variety of game modes, and unique all around gameplay experience make this a game folks will be talking about beside Goat Simulator for years to come. Quit loafing around and go try it out!
Review copy provided by Evolve PR

The Bottom Line

I am Bread is an odd indie game that will have you manipulating your environment to light your world on fire. Well designed levels and a subtle but entertaining story round out a worthwhile physics game.

 

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Joe Morgan

Gamer, software developer, dog lover. When he's not writing for GeeksUnderGrace or CrossConsoleGamers, you can find him streaming at Twitch.tv/JoeKnowethGames

1 Comment

  1. Maurice Pogue on April 23, 2015 at 9:01 pm

    I don’t think I would have played this game under my own volition, but I think I might check it out one day thanks to your review.

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