Bossa Studios continue in their quest to unsettle even the most stable of gamers by releasing their wheat based puzzle-platformer on PS4.
I am Bread is really, really odd. There is no other way to describe it. You play a slice of white bread, initially at least, and it's your destiny to be toasted. Let nothing stand in your way, you will be toasted no matter how difficult the situation.
You control your character (can it be called that?) by moving the analogue stick. However, you can only shuffle a mere few millimeters. To really get going you can anchor one of the corners of the slice on any surface by holding either L1, L2, R1 or R2 accordingly - each button corresponds to a corner. It is completely counter intuitive, unapologetically so. In the same vein as one of their previous releases, Surgeon Simulator, the game takes great pleasure in taking you out of your comfort zone which has to be applauded. With this ability your are a veritable gluten fueled Spiderman, capable of scaling anything you can get your grubby little crusts on. This doesn't add anything to just how difficult it is though. Unless rolling in a direct pattern, you're never really sure which corner you should be holding on with so you constantly have to check the little icons on each corner, it is unfortunately quite painful to play at times.
It's much easier to watch and understand...
I am Bread has other modes too, including Bagel Racing, Baguette Rampage & Wholemeal Zero-G. It's beyond surreal. This is it's biggest strength and weakness.
I started playing the game and became quite quickly bored if I'm honest, after level 1 the direction of travel is not clear and you can easily get "screwed" by some of the games physics not responding how you would like. It was disappointing for me as I had played this game at Rezzed and found it really fun, what had happened?
The game truly works with friends, taking turns and watching someone flail endlessly on over a broken jar of jam while you scream what they should be doing. Put that controller in your hand, and the logical connections in your brain just give up. Honestly, it's hysterical. The game works with all levels of skill but it's best with seasoned gamers who know the controller as a prosthesis of their body rather than having to look down every so often. These people tend to just be permanently confused as to why the game even exists.
There is a story mode which I find really clever. Told in the form of doctors notes about a man who is seemingly losing his mind about a loaf of bread which is destroying his home. It's nice little twist and gives the levels a touch of context rather than just being different rooms. The rooms are as expected, kitchen, lounge, bedroom, bathroom etc - it actually gave me memories of Mr.Mosquito (anyone?)
At it's heart, I am Bread is a puzzle game with some awkward controls. You need to be toast! Level 1, head for the toaster, level 2 there is no toaster. At first it was agonising to try and work this out but in short, imagine you're a drunk student getting home after way too many WKDs and you will do anything do get a slice of toast. That's the mindset you need to be in to solve the puzzles and it's pretty rewarding when you crack it.
I am Bread follows on from Bossa Studios crazy game design. It's unique, it's fun with friends but falls short of "one more go" mentality of previous games. The controls are just a little to unconventional to feel like you're making decent progress. Definitely one to bring out at parties.