Experimental titles like Surgeon Simulator, Goat Simulator or Octodad are truly unique experiences, and they’re great entertainment when combined with a few drinks and a group of friends. Unfortunately, their thrill wears off quickly, and it’s hard to enjoy them for more than a few hours. Developer Bossa Studios’ latest physics based adventure I am Bread suffers a similar fate. For the first three levels, I am Bread is an absolute blast. The physics are genuinely interesting and fun to figure out, but once the gimmick wears off, there’s only so much frustration one can put up with before fun transforms into annoyance.
I am Bread is not a bad game by any means. In fact, I’d recommend it to any PC gamer with a few extra bucks in their pocket. Bossa’s witty adventure is great for amusing non gamer friends, and watching them struggle in navigating the slice of bread through hazardous environments. Sadly, I am Bread fails to captivate beyond a few laughs. I’ve put two full days into the title, and I doubt I’ll ever pick it up again. Purposefully bad controls aren’t an excuse for bad gameplay design. I am Bread feels like it was designed for Youtube streamers and audiences. It’s more fun to watch somebody become enraged playing I am Bread than actually playing it yourself.
"But once the gimmick wears off, there’s only so much frustration one can put up with before fun transforms into annoyance."
The goal of I am Bread is very simple: Get toasted while still being edible. You begin peeling yourself off of a loaf of bread, and start exploring the vast levels in hopes of finding a surface hot enough to crisp each side of the slice. Each level provides various opportunities for getting toasted. You can drop a bowling ball on top of a TV set and heat your slice on the burning surface, or you can climb your way up to a room heater and roast on the side of the vent. Discovering different toasting possibilities is the game’s highlight. It’s just a shame that getting there is anything but fun.
The controls are a nightmare. I understand they’re designed to be tricky, but that doesn’t make them any less frustrating. Each shoulder button controls a corner, and holding the buttons down gives the bread slice enough grip to climb various surfaces. The longer you climb, the further the grip meter drops, so it’s imperative to navigate steep areas with caution. It’s also possible to stick corners to certain surfaces, allowing your bread slice to roll around with the particular object. Again, it may be fun to look at, but it’s hardly entertaining when you’re actually trying to accomplish a goal.
"As a game, I am Bread doesn’t offer much value beyond the initial wow factor. It’s a game designed for Youtubers, and for watching others struggle."
An edibility meter keeps track of the dirt that’s gathered as you crawl your way to a hot object. Getting yourself too contaminated results in immediate failure and a full level restart. You’re scored based on your edibility level when getting toasted, and the method used in getting crispy. Discovering which objects in the environment can get you toasted is admittedly fun. I found myself replaying the second level over and over because I wanted to explore all possibilities. But even with its creative level layouts and intriguing concept, I found myself walking away disappointed after finally reaching my objectives.
Surprisingly, I am Bread’s presentation is the game’s strongest suit. The soundtrack is catchy and memorable, and the environments are meticulously designed. Developer Bossa has done a superb job of making players feel like an actual slice of bread. Everything in the environments can be interacted with, making the world of I am Bread remarkably realistic.
As a game, I am Bread doesn’t offer much value beyond the initial wow factor. It’s a charming little gimmick that, much like all games in the physics genre, is only effective for temporarily entertaining others. It’s a game designed for Youtubers, and for watching others struggle. It certainly succeeds in what it aims to accomplish, but unfortunately, that goal isn’t to be a good game. Flapping around as a slice of bread across vast environments sounds intriguing, but I can’t say that paying ten bucks for it is necessarily worth it. If you’re really curious, wait until it hits the bargain bin. It probably won’t be too long from now.
Review by: Tin Salamunic | Reviewed on: PC