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I am Bread Impressions – Toast Souls
There are many games being released nowadays that we find are “not trying hard enough.” Whether it is crashes and server issues, or the simple release of a nearly unplayable game, like Assassins’ Creed: Unity, gamers are being let down over and over again. I am Bread, however, is the one game that thousands of people will totally accept being incomplete and dysfunctional.
I am Bread comes to us from the developers of the famed Surgeon Simulator, Bossa Studios, and is an equally ridiculous game in both premise and control scheme. The plot of the game is simple, you are a slice of bread, animated and living to the highest extent that bread (impossibly?) could. Your purpose as this lone, intelligent slice is to become the tastiest slice of toast known to man. You must traverse bookshelf and countertop alike to slather on condiments and reach your toasty (and delicious) destination without tainting your edibility, all while slowly driving the owner of the home you are subtly destroying insane.
The first thing I need to note, is that although not too much will change about this game, I find that a full review would be unfair to a game that quite literally just hit early access release. So for the sake of Bossa and fellow gamers alike, this is my impressions of the newly released (and strangely highly anticipated) game.
I have watched many videos of people goofing around in Surgeon Simulator, but have not played it myself. The first thing I noticed that had me pulling my hair out was the absolutely abhorrent control scheme for this game. You use the one to four number keys on your keyboard to grip surfaces with each corner of your slice, and the “Q,W,E,R” keys to lock one of your corners to said surface. You are provided with a grip meter that slowly depletes the longer you hold objects, until finally running out and sending your sorry piece of bread tumbling down to the floor.
Now, objectively, I could blame the game’s early release, or rant about the hair I lost trying to flop a piece of bread up a wall using the one to four keys on my keyboard, but in reality I totally understand that this is par for the course with Bossa. Without the technical hindrance on the player, I guarantee this would lose its lustre far quicker.
In my time with this game, I could not believe how furious bread could make me. Countless times I failed levels mere inches from toasty victory as my grip meter reached zero and I plummeted into what felt like a sea of cat litter. Besides the countless expletives, I found myself creating words that were not swears in any language, but were just angry noises that I would make as I failed repeatedly at the seemingly simple task. For lack of better explanation, this game is difficult, and that is truly excellent.
Until the recent wide-spread acclaim of the Souls games, I had found that our generation of gamers had it far too easy. Regenerating health and checkpoints every 30 feet had made us soft. I am thankful that games like I am Bread are soft only in its slices, and nothing else. Crippling the player with strange controls and wonky physics has become a selling point for the studio and even as angry as it has made me, I don’t think I’d have sunk so much time into it if it were easy.
The cartoon-esque graphic style of this game gives the same bright and colourful appeal that Surgeon Simulator had. What does become frustrating is that the early access title is sticking quite firmly to this release. More than once in my frustration I found myself clipping into objects, becoming one with a wine glass or a bookshelf and realizing that I was now stuck and had to restart. On top of that, I’d have some physics items like broken glass or even an entire cardboard box glitch out and fling me at the speed of sound to the opposite side of the room, where I would fall and drain away my edibility in sheer fury.
The compelling counter to the issues is that Bossa Studios is fully aware of the issues the game has, and reassures players that they will be patching and updating regularly to remedy the problems. On top of that, they are one of the few companies that people trust to take care of their titles as they are aware of the fan base (no matter how confused that they may be to have it). With currently only a handful of levels, they promised to continue to release new content for the players (like me) to struggle valiantly with.
As a lover of soundtracks and game music alike, I have to give credit where credit is due. I am Bread most certainly has a score worth noting. The happy little tunes that play as you contemplate snapping your monitor in half in frustration are well composed and well received. I found myself pausing every few seconds (between deaths) to listen and enjoy. I will say, that after about 15 attempts at the same lounge level I had muted the game because the loop had become grating, but beyond that I was impressed.
Overall, this game is still in development and if you keep up to date with it you’ll be likely to see plenty of content in the future. Beyond my frustrations, I can easily say that I not only had a blast, but the difficulty of the game has that Souls “I will beat this level if it is the last damn thing I ever do” appeal and for that I recommend it. If you do take this as a game you coyly show your friends for a good laugh, it is phenomenal. If you take this as a game that you try to stick to beating for all you’re worth, welcome to toasty, toasty hell. Either way, just under $10 is a fair price for the amount of fun (and frustration) you are bound to face.