I am Bread (PC) Preview
I’ve wrestled with how to write this preview for a few days now. I am Bread sits perfectly in line with other procedural/weird simulator games like Surgeon Simulator (same developer), Octodad, Goat Simulator and so on. It’s a game that builds a world with a seemingly easy task “Hey, make yourself bread”, but due to the controls, makes this an insanely hard prospect. If these games are up your alley, this is one for you.
You start off I am Bread as a slice of bread in a loaf. The basic goal is to get toasted, with a larger story of a man having stress and the bread, due to moving around, is causing further stress to him. Playing with a gamepad is highly recommended, as trying to do this game with a mouse/keyboard is madness.
The left stick is your movement controls, and can nudge you along. It’s not a big movement, but is more about precise movement, if you’re on a precarious object. The LB/LT/RB/RT buttons/triggers correlate to each corner of the slice of bread and are your main method of getting around. When you hold one (or more) of these buttons, you plan that part of yourself on the ground. So if the LT buttons corresponds to the upper left corner of the bread, and you’re on the ground, if you hold it down, that corner will be stuck to the floor until you let go. You can still move other parts of the bread around though, and you’ll need to. While you are stuck, you can grip things with the other corners of the bread, if they are in physical contact with an object.
This method of sticking to the ground is the primary method of how you get around the level. You can essentially wall-climb around a level by anchoring yourself to a part of the wall, the swinging yourself up, and anchoring another corner, and repeating this. You do have a grip meter that goes down whenever you are anchored to something. When you aren’t stuck, it refills in a few seconds, but it is something to watch out for when you’re trying to move around.
The big thing you have to contend with when playing is that you have a health bar, which equates to how edible you are. You start off 100% edible, but this can go down if you fall into water, get eaten by ants, falling into kitty litter, or, worst of all, falling on the ground. You can survive for a few seconds on the ground, getting a bit dirty, but if you’re on there for more than 5 or 6 seconds, it is pretty much an instant game over.
You also can find a few things to make the bread more pleasing, but I don’t think this brings up your edible meter, until the end. Notably, butter and jelly can be rubbed into the bread to cause it to be better when you complete the level and get a grade.
The elephant in the room is just the nature of the game itself, for me. Like I said earlier, if you like these types of physics-based games, then it’s another one of those. But, I don’t. This essentially feels like a “gag” game, and I’m not sure if that’s the intent or not. If it is, then good job, it’s a good gag. If it isn’t, then why is it designed like this? Trying to make a mundane task of “Go make yourself bread” is cute and all, but if it takes you over an hour to complete a level, that feeling of humor goes away real quick.
Here’s a for instance: it did take me about an hour and a half, all told, to actually complete the first level. I had to angle a fall onto a skateboard just right, climb a wall, wall-climb a fridge, climb around a sink , climb another wall, walk around a stove, climb another wall, and I hit the toaster. Figuring the above out took me a good 45 minutes. I then spent 45 minutes trying to figure out how to get the bread inside the toaster. After trying, and failing, for another 40 minutes, I just looked on Youtube and saw that the stove can cook the bread. I backtracked to it, turned it on, and completed the level. It was a relatively outside-of-the-box solution, that did work, but felt completely antithetical to how I was playing the game.
In the end, I am Bread is another in a long line of simulation-based games. If you’re into those, this is an easy pick up, but if you’re not, you may want to try a demo first. Granted, this game is still in early-access and may still change, but it seems pretty finished to me.