Review: I am Bread (PS4)

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Title: I am Bread
Format: PlayStation Network Download (827 MB)
Release Date: August 25, 2015
Publisher: Bossa Studios, Just Add Water Ltd.
Developer: Bossa Studios Ltd.
Original MSRP: $12.99 (US), €12.99 (EU), £8.99 (UK)
ESRB Rating: E10+
PEGI: 7
I am Bread is also available on PC and Mac.
The PlayStation 4 download version was used for this review.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

I am Bread comes from Bossa Studios, the same people who brought you Surgeon Simulator and apparently it’s a prequel of sorts. Now they are admittedly very different games but both have bizarre controls. I would just like to point out that this review does not contain any spoilers and is 100% gluten-free, and I’ll try to keep the bread related puns to a minimum.

“Now Would anyone like any toast?”

Gameplay:
Bread, bagels, baguettes, heck even some crisp bread gets some love in this game, not literally of course, that would be weird. I am Bread is anything but weird. It’s your run of the mill, typical, almost average bread flipping, sticking to walls, smearing yourself in jam, getting toasted by an iron kind of game.

I am Bread_20150907150329 I am Bread_20150902184216

Howdy doodly do. How’s it going? I bet you’re sat there thinking I am bread can’t be much of a game, what’s the point in it? Well allow me to explain the story mode first of all. Yes a story mode, and quite a good one at that. Admittedly it isn’t that long and full of a deep heart wrenching narrative but it’s better than expected and worth reading. Did I not mention the story is told via notes before each level and not only explains the different locations but tells a sad tale.

You are a slice of fresh wholemeal bread and your only goal in the universe is to be toasted. And so by some magical luck you have the ability to move, either by slowly nudging across the surface a few millimetres at a time or by summoning a power of lifting and swinging from one or more corners of the slice. Using this movement that I call ‘four-corner control’ you can flip the slice and even grab onto any surface, thereby allowing you to climb walls, providing you grip holds out.

… a Platinum and a heap of bread pun trophies …
Some of us may know that it isn’t just a toaster that can toast things and sometimes in this game you have to think outside of the box and explore the area for a suitable heat source. But that isn’t all, as there are some things which can help in your long arduous journey across the kitchen. Maybe rubbing some butter all over yourself* to allow you to slide around or even pushing a few things onto the dirty floor allowing for a cleaner and quicker route to be toasted.

There is more to I am Bread than the story mode. You have bagel racing, fragile crisp bread hunting cheese, baguettes going on destructive rampages, the strangely awesome but difficult Zero G mode, and last but not least you can even loaf around in a Free Roam mode. It’s substantial enough for Sony to allow a Platinum and a heap of bread pun trophies like:

The Walking Bread – Finish a Story level with exactly 1% edibility.

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I am Bread is quite substantial and will keep you going for longer than you might expect. It can also be very entertaining with an audience, so either grab a few friends or press that Share button because watching your bread accidentally somersault into the sink full of dishes is funnier with friends.

I found a few problems later in the game where my piece of bread would get stuck on the floor and ceiling of the container I began the level in. In actual fact I would say the grab mechanic could do with a slight adjustment as it occasionally doesn’t allow it even if the bread is pressed against certain surfaces. Some of these occurrences result in moments of frustration and maybe even laughter.

… the camera can get stuck behind one or two things …
The later levels become more complex and technical which adds to the level of frustration and can become an exercise in anger management as the room for error on the few routes to being toasted are quite difficult. You can eventually opt to grab some miracle marmalade at the beginning of a bothersome level which allows you to go grab and move without fear of reducing the quality of the bread.

*Just to be clear I was referring to the in-game bread product and not yourself.

Visuals:
There are plenty of destructible objects and things to help or hinder your breaded product in the large environments that you can traverse. Plus your piece of bread can pick up many things on its journey to be toasted, these range from jam (jelly), butter, ants, dirt, cereal and more. One niggling issue I have with this game is that the things sticking to the piece of bread can seem to float a few centimetres off the surface. It doesn’t break the game in any way but is off-putting.

Physics play a big part in I am Bread and aside from the strength and grip of what is essentially baked flour, water, and yeast, I found it all to be quite realistic and believable. Lighting is good and the draw distance is great, my only issue in this department is that the camera can get stuck behind one or two things or slide behind a wall, briefly showing the outside of the level area. Again, this isn’t a problem which hurts the game and is a by-product of a three-dimensional game world.

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Audio:
A few simple, almost generic upbeat tunes plays throughout the game which can be turned down or even off leaving the sound effects to make their satisfying noises of smashing glass, clinking of cutlery, and the dull thud of a wholemeal slice of bread against a plastic cereal container. Not forgetting the hiss and pop of the thrusters in Zero G mode.

… undeniably different and worth a look …
Online/Multiplayer:
This game is single-player only with no online component.

Conclusion:
I am surprised because I am Bread should be weird and not make any sense but yet somehow it does. Once you get used to the four-corner controls and keep an eye on that grip meter things become a lot of fun. Ignoring the minor graphical and technical issues I found it to be a great and very unique game that shouldn’t be as much fun as it turned out to be.

I’m glad I got the chance to experience I am Bread and found it undeniably different and worth a look for some open-minded gamers. A few technical issues and glitches do hold it back slightly but shouldn’t deter anyone that wants to play something a little different.

Score:
7.0

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

Written by Chazz Harrington

Chazz Harrington

You can find me on everything: PSN, Twitter, Wii U, Origin, Steam, etc using my universal ID: ChazzH69

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  • lon3wolf

    Loved red dwarf:

    Toaster: How ’bout a muffin?

    Lister: Or muffins. Or muffins. We don’t like muffins around here. We want no muffins, no toast, no teacakes, no buns, baps, baguettes or bagels, no croissants, no crumpets, no pancakes, no potato cakes and no hot-cross buns and definitely no smegging flapjacks.

    Toaster: Aah, so you’re a waffle man.

    • ChazzH69

      Such a classic episode from a brilliant series.

      • lon3wolf

        Very much so, it did start to drop in quality at about series 5, so many stand out episodes though before that. I was thinking about watching them again soon, for some reason all I could think of was Alphabetti Spaghetti 😀