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‘I Am Bread’ Allows You To Do Exactly What You Think It Does

‘I Am Bread’ Allows You To Do Exactly What You Think It Does

Filed inside: Reviews

There is a story behind the game, but it’s little more than comedic background—the perfect spread for the game’s porous surface. The game shines as proof that a simple concept and an uncompromising vision can produce a truly enjoyable experience, something that Bossa appears to excel at. A light tutorial teaches you all the “abilities” at your disposal—gripping a surface, latching on to certain objects to manipulate them, and nudging yourself (using the LMB or left stick without holding a button) to move through tight spaces or make minor adjustments. From there, you’ll have to learn how to move through the space organically.

I’ve developed a few of my own moves myself. You’ve got basic movement across a flat, stable surface by holding one half of the slice down and flipping the other over it. This can work across walls and tables both. If a wall doesn’t allow for as much error in motion, though, I can sort of “walk” the bread across by attaching all four corners to the wall to rest flat, then releasing all but alternating rear corners and shimmying forward. Eventually, you’ll find your desperation at failed attempts teaching you how to react to emergency scenarios (I learned very quickly to just hold all four corners down if I fall in the hopes I can grab anything), or to take a few risks with your bread’s physics.

I Am Bread - Baguette

The game really starts to expand as you move through it, unlocking several new modes to enjoy, each featuring a different baked good to play as. Crackerbread is the Whole Loaf’s stiff cousin, allowing for more precise flat movement, but making navigating corners difficult. It comes with the Cheese Hunt mode, turning each stage into a hide-and-seek affair, where the focus is not on maintaining your edibleness, but your structural integrity. The Baguette has only two vertices, and can roll along the floor, if positioned right. The baguette’s focus is Rampage, in which you do as much damage to the environment as possible within a set time limit. You can also unlock the bagel for bagel races. The bagel also features only two vertices, but is much more maneuverable than the baguette, and is tasked with navigating a course as quickly as possible.

I Am Bread - Zero G

Hands down, my favorite, however, is the Zero G mode. You play as a heavily modified slice of whole bread, with thrusters on each corner and a main engine. All the environments become tilt-shifted and filled with reverent choral music as you carefully try to position yourself among the floating debris of what was once a kitchen or a bathroom in order to try to make yourself toast once again. It truly brings a smile to one’s face, while also fostering a sense of awe and wonder, both at the tremendous difficulty that must accompany flying a craft through space, but also with just how much a simple engine like Unity can accomplish.

Unity hasn’t been so well known for producing works of epic visual fidelity, but instead rewards vision and creativity. In the hands of Bossa, I Am Bread houses a simple look that is immediately evocative of Surgeon Simulator, and is at once simple and accessible while also undeniably charming. The colors are bright when they need to be, dark when necessary, and since the game doesn’t strive for photorealism, there’s little to complain about in in the simple textures and objects.

I Am Bread - Bagel

Similarly, you can’t really complain about the controls, they’re designed to be difficult to use to a degree. The game recommends you use a gamepad to play, and I tend to agree, it lends a whole-handedness to the whole affair that makes it at once more engrossing and confusing, but in all the right ways.

I Am Bread is a thing of beauty. At once, I feel like I’ve experienced so much, but that there is still so much to uncover. I went from nigh-uselessly flopping my floury body across tables, to “nimbly” throwing myself across gaps, up walls, and across objects like the dream of a parkour-enthusiastic baker. Is it perfect? No. No game is. But there is a sort of breaded joy to be found in tumbling across boxes to try to turn on a radiator to toast oneself. A wheaty adrenaline rush in slapping a Jenga-inspired pile of wooden blocks to find the cheese stored atop. Or a sort of pain du monde in the serenity of a zero-gravity kitchen, floating slowly toward blistering hot bliss.

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Written by Ray Allaire -The Reasonable Gamer

Writer, game designer, and gaming analyst. Practitioner of all nerdy arts: Games, tabletop, TCG, and all. Twitter: @mateusrayje

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