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I am Bread

I am Bread

Written by Travis Huinker on 5/20/2015 for PC  
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I am Bread from UK-based developer Bossa Studios, known previously for Surgeon Simulator, follows in their line of games that combine odd simulation with action-adventure backdrops. While players won't be performing surgery with a single hand in I am Bread, they are tasked with awkwardly controlling a slice of bread across various levels with the single goal of literally becoming toast. While the game initially seemed like a joke upon announcement, it has actually transformed from a brief early access demo into a full-fledged game with the inclusion of a semi-apparent narrative if players seek it out. Unfortunately, the game's underlying mechanics have some problematic design choices that for the majority of the experience lead to frustration rather than enjoyment.

As mentioned, the game's narrative just barely meets the requirements of what one would expect from a story with proper characters and such. Players take control of a single slice of bread through various levels located both inside and outside of a person's home ranging from their kitchen and bathroom to lounge and garden. Each level has the single objective of toasting each side of the bread slice by utilizing some heat source found within the game world. The first level makes it simple by including an actual toaster while later levels require the player to think outside the box such as using a hair dryer or outdoor grill.

The other gameplay element of I am Bread is with the game's edibility meter. If the slice of bread falls on the floor or moves across a dirty surface, the edibility meter will decrease and if it reaches zero players have to restart the level. This gameplay element is further increased in challenge by the inclusion of a grip meter. The slice of bread isn't able to permanently grab onto surfaces, which forces players to quickly climb up walls and other surfaces. After repeat failures on a level the game does provide players an optional jar of Magic Marmalade that functions as a god mode that disables both the edibility and grip meters.

Controls in I am Bread are the game's biggest source of frustration. Each corner of the bread is tied to an individual button press, while also containing the ability to grab onto objects or the environment with each of the corners. While tiny movements or adjustments can be made with other controls, the actual movement of the bread slice functions similar to the online game QWOP. The biggest issue arises from trying to determine which side of the bread is which for movement with the button presses. Unfortunately, this reliance on having to use four controls to make simple movements requires players to constantly look at the on-screen button prompts to determine which is the front and back of the bread slice. Players without a controller shouldn't even bother with the game as controlling the bread with a mouse and keyboard are near impossible.

Even with the developer's reliance on calling I am Bread a real game and not a funny gimmick, it doesn't quite translate as ultimately the humor in both the premise and controls lose their welcome shortly after beginning the first level. The frustration with the controls was fortunately solved by using the game's Magic Marmalade god mode that resulted in more of an action-adventure genre feel versus rage-inducing gimmick. Additional game modes are included in the form of cheese hunt, bagel race, rampage, and zero-g in which each of them utilizes a different type of bread and gameplay mechanic. Fortunately, these additional game modes provide a welcome escape from the usual difficultly found in the primary game mode. Humor is always welcome in games, but in I am Bread it's unable to overcome the core gameplay mechanics that continually lead to an unnecessary level of difficulty.

It's great to see developers like Bossa Studios trying new concepts with games like Surgeon Simulator and I am Bread. Yet, humor is only effective in games that don't continually frustrate the gamer over unnecessarily-difficult gameplay mechanics. It's near impossible to laugh at a game while at the same time thinking about throwing a controller across the room. Even with the control issues, the game's narrative does provide some memorable scenes and the additional game modes provide a welcome escape from the core gameplay mechanics. Ultimately, I am Bread would have been better off as a funny, short gimmick and not a complete game focused around the premise of being a bread slice.

Gamers shouldn't be fooled by the lighthearted premise of I am Bread as both difficult controls and gameplay mechanics result in continual frustration. I am Bread would have been better off as a funny, short gimmick and not a complete game focused around the premise of being a bread slice.

Rating: 6.5 Below Average

* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company.

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About Author

I've been writing for Gaming Nexus since 2011 and focus primarily on PC games and hardware. I'm a strong advocate of independent developers and am always seeking the next genre-breaking and unique game releases. My favorite game genres are strategy, role-playing, and simulation, or any games that feature open worlds and survival elements.

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