I Am Bread Review

By MunchMagic1986,
From the minds of Bossa Studios comes the follow-up game/prequel to Surgeon Simulator. I Am Bread is set in the house of Bob, the patient from Surgeon Simulator, and tells the story of how he went crazy. You take on the role of a slice of bread with only one goal -- to become toast. While this may be the first bread simulator, there is no denying that the simulation genre is becoming quite saturated. Is this game as fresh as a loaf of Hovis, or as stale as Kingsmill?

I Am Bread 2

Unlike most games where the core of the game is the story, I Am Bread is built around the controls. If you have played Surgeon Simulator, you will know that one thing is certain before heading into the game -- the controls are going to be rather crazy and uncontrollable. Using a combination of cn_L1, cn_R1, cn_L2 and cn_R2, you take control of each corner of the piece of bread as you attempt to navigate throughout the room using any kind of heat source that you can use to become toast. This is what turns the game from wacky fun to a complete rage fest. The controls are very tough to manage and will take quite a lot of practice to master. They make the Surgeon Simulator controls seem easy by comparison, and those were pretty tough. Once you begin to get the hang of the controls you can use them to your advantage by climbing across the walls, using a skateboard to carry you safely across the floor or even throw yourself across the room (this will take a lot of mastery though). While you can grip onto pretty much anything to safely get across the level you do have a limited amount of grip before you fall off whatever you are touching.

There are six game modes from which to choose with each one having a different type of bread. Story mode is the main part of the game where you control the slice of bread. Here you just need to become toast. Simple. To become toast you must find a heat source, of which there are several options from which to choose. There are many obstacles that stand in the way of you and toastdom, however, as you cannot touch the floor or you will start to lose edibility, this game's version of a health bar. Edibility can be lowered in various ways and this adds a real challenge to the game as you often need to think outside of the bread box to beat the level. Before each level you are also treated to some patient files on Bob that detail his mental downfall on a day by day basis. These don't affect the game at all but are quite an amusing read. The patient files are the only real story in the game. Unfortunately, if you have not played Surgeon Simulator then none of them will have any meaning and will just leave you even more confused.

A layout of the levels and game modesA layout of the levels and game modes

The other game modes add some variety to the game but re-use the same seven levels as the story mode, which can get a little stale after a few plays. Bagel race is exactly as it sounds, you race through the level as a bagel while hitting checkpoints along the way. Rampage lets you release all of your rage as a baguette where you need to destroy as much as possible in the time given. The baguette is very awkward to control; luckily, this enrages you more and causes you to want to smash things even harder. Cheese hunt gives you control of a cracker as you navigate the level hunting for the cheese hidden around the level. This is where the difficulty starts to ramp up as any sort of damage will lower your integrity meter. Zero G mode takes the story mode and throws it in the air.. literally. Here, all of the items in the level are flowing in zero gravity, while you control your slice of bread towards a heat source using jet packs that are attached to each corner of the bread. This is very challenging as the controls are taken to the extreme, with each of the six jet packs directing you in several directions at the same time. There is also a free roam mode that lets you play as whatever bread type you want and just do whatever you want.

Each level in each mode will give you a ranking at the end based on your performance. Depending on what mode you are playing in, the requirements vary between time, edibility, integrity, damage or a combination. The highest rank that you can gain is an A++, which is very difficult to do and will require a lot of practice and retries. This is made even more challenging by the fact that the novelty of the game quickly disappears after a couple levels of each mode. After playing just one level in each mode there is no real reason to play any more, except for the epilogue in story mode or to try and get A++ in each level.

Now that's not very hygenicNow that's not very hygenic

It is fairly obvious from the title of the game alone that a sense of humour is definitely required. Sure it can get a bit repetitive and the joke of being bread will die down, but there is still a lot of fun to be had. A lot of the game is very British, which is evident even in some of the level designs -- the living room especially. For some strange reason, the British feel actually adds to the humour a little and there are little puns thrown in left and right.

There are seven levels that you can play, one for each day and these take you all over the house. Each level has some fun interactable objects with which you can play around, such as a washing machine. If there is a dial or a knob somewhere, there is a good chance that you can play with it. You can enter free roam mode and spend as much time as you want finding these cool additions, many of which have trophies attached to them.

A slice of bread.......with jetpacksA slice of bread.......with jetpacks

There is some replay value attached to the game, assuming that you can get a grip of the awkward controls and find some way to make the camera work. There is some satisfaction to achieving a A++ ranking. While completing each level is not that rewarding, getting the top mark makes up for it as you put a lot of effort into getting that grade. If you don't get much enjoyment from frustratingly replaying a level several times while trying to get the best score then you're unlikely to want to replay the levels.

The biggest downside to the game comes from the camera. Many times in the game you will find your view completely obstructed because the camera decides to do its own thing. Often it will just start rotating for no real reason while you stand still. It is a hard game to play because of the controls but the camera can make it unplayable at times and ruins any enjoyment that you are having. You can control the camera yourself but that tends to cause even more issues.

A hairdryer can be used to toast breadA hairdryer can be used to toast bread

The trophy list for I Am Bread provides a mix of fun and challenge, with each trophy having a bread pun thrown in. The hardest trophies to get will be the ones for getting A++ scores in each of the levels in each of the modes. For some these will be impossible to attain and will require a lot of skill, practice and patience. As mentioned above, there are some interactive items with trophies tied to them, these include spreading both sides of the bread with jam and butter before being toast, standing upright on a skateboard then riding it for one minute and starting a car and a chainsaw (with a nice Evil Dead reference too).

Summary

Overall I Am Bread is a fun, yet challenging game that will require you to master the controls. It is enjoyable enough that you will want to go back through the levels a few more times to increase your ranking. However, the novelty of it rubs off fairly quickly and a lot of people will likely not even bother finishing each mode. A lot of humour is planted throughout the game providing a lot of laughs. It is wise to change game modes every now and then as playing as the bread for too long will start to cause a lot of pain in your fingers.
3.5 / 5
I Am Bread
Positives
  • Great variety of game modes
  • Amusing backstory on Bob
  • Fun side activities
  • Pun filled trophies
Negatives
  • Camera has a mind of it's own
  • Not many levels to choose from
  • Gets old pretty quick
Ethics
Jordan played the game for 10 hours, earning 14 of the game's 35 trophies. He spent a good amount of time failing on each of the game modes. He will likely put the game back on every now and then to try to increase his rankings and skill on the controls. He purchased a personal copy on the PlayStation 4 for the purpose of this review.