Ever wondered what is would be like to live life as a slice of bread? Me neither, but thanks to Bossa Studios, the developer behind the hugely successful and painfully difficult Surgeon Simulator, you can now experience life as a breaded product on the ultimate mission, becoming toast in I Am Bread.
Developer: Bossa Studios
Publisher: Bossa Studios
Reviewed on: PC
Also Available On: Mac OS X
Release Date: Out Now
Playing an overly adventurous slice of wholemeal, your job is to make your way through multiple environments made up of specific rooms around the house, including the kitchen, the lounge and the dreaded garage. As single-minded as you’d expect a slice of bread to be, your goal is to toast yourself. Where the first level offers you a toaster for the job, you’ll soon realise that a hob or even radiator will do the job just as well.
There is a sinister side to I Am Bread as you learn the true underlying themes of the story. The story of the game is played out in a very subtle way through therapy notes displayed at the beginning of each level and what we learn through the game is that your whole grain adventures are actually driving the owner of the house to insanity as he tries to make sense of the destruction you are causing on your quest to toast. Each psychology report details the poor man’s descent into madness as he leaps from conspiracy theories about “the council” breaking into his house, through to unwittingly discovering the truth that is in fact, the bread’s fault.
The gameplay is fairly easy to grasp though near impossible to fully master, this is one of the hardest games you’re ever likely to play. With controls not unlike Octodad though as frustrating as Surgeon Simulator at times, this is definitely a game for those that are incredibly patient.
Using a controller definitely feels like the easiest way to approach this game, each trigger is assigned a corner of the bread slice and when activated that corner is gripped to the surface. If you prefer the keyboard and mouse approach then the default layout gives you the number buttons 1-4 with the arrows as directional support. You can grip any solid surface, climb walls and larger objects though you are limited to how long you can grip. Lighter objects can be grabbed and moved or even smashed, but the one thing you need to remember to keep your eye on is how edible you are.
A hud monitor at the top of the screen tells you how edible your slice is as a percentage, reach 0% and the level ends, you’ve become inedible. The biggest danger to this is the floor, drop down there and your edible level will drop sharply but that is not the only risk. Fish bones, gone off meat, band-aids and a number of other obstacles stand between you and your toasting and as you work your way through the later levels, this increases the difficulty significantly.
All that said, it’s incredibly fun learning to master the controls anyway and while you’re learning the best way to approach the problem the developers are keen to see you progress with some ease. After a certain number of failures, the game will offer you an easy way through the level, the magical marmalade which gives you infinite grip and makes your edible level invulnerable. This is actually a nice touch and a saving grace on a few of levels, it also gives you time to figure out your next move and fully master the mechanics safe in the knowledge you’re not going to fall off whatever you’re currently gripped to.
As you work your way through the story, and that poor man’s sanity, you’ll unlock other modes in the game and even other types of breaded product. The modes on offer range from basic free-roam and rampage (my personal favourite), to Bagel Racing and Zero G, you’ll even have the option to play the game as a french baguette, there’s a lot to do outside of the story.
The environments themselves are amazingly interactive, it’s impressive to say the least. Almost everything you see around you is bound by the physics of the game and can be manipulated, I didn’t realise how thorough the developers had been with this until I found myself on top of the fridge in the first level only to find it’s door swing open and my slice go butter side up to the floor. There are a few occasions where these physics could do with a little tweaking, for example the jam jar takes very little to break, just a nudge actually, but it can take some force to move a box. This is minor and barely noticeable though and will have not much impact on your experience.
Visually, this game is appealing, the bizarre theme of the game is contrasted nicely with a relatively normal home environment, albeit a little messy. The attention to detail is impressive, it’s bright and colourful, a little cartoony but never the less well above what we’ve come to expect from games of this nature. The audio also compliments the game well, it’s quirky, it’s upbeat, it somehow gives the slice of bread added personality.
Overall, I Am Bread was created to be something a little silly, not to be taken seriously, something just pure fun and it delivers exactly what it sets out to do. It’s a quirky game that won’t appeal to the mainstream but for those that have games such as Goat Simulator, Octodad and Bossa’s own Surgeon Simulator, this is a game that you will enjoy. Despite a short story, there is plenty of opportunities to explore and expand your experience through the other game modes.
A good looking game with very few faults, some might see it as purely a gimmick, others will fully embrace it for what it is, a good laugh.