Game review: I am Bread - difficult however you slice it

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 02 May, 2015, 10:51pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 02 May, 2015, 10:51pm

I am Bread
Bossa Studios

You are bread. Yes, you are. And your one true goal in life is to become toast. Simple enough, but with cluttered rooms, filthy surfaces, near-impossible physics and not a whole lot of hot surfaces to deal with, becoming browned is harder than you'd think.

Bossa Studios are gaming jokers: their 2013 release Surgeon Simulator was a hilarious, intentionally annoying game that put the lives of virtual anaesthetised characters into our absurdly shaky hands.

Those who did appreciate its surreal humour will find similar levels of absurdity in the Windows/OS X game, I am Bread. There's a story somewhere in its mix, but it really doesn't matter. Because after hours of frustratingly flip-flopping your white slice across bathrooms, living rooms and kitchens, "edibility" diminishing as you constantly contaminate, the sense of satisfaction that comes when you accidentally smash a TV set only to have its flames toast your surface is almost orgasmic.

As with Surgeon, controls here are deliberately difficult, a wily combination of axis and angles that make little sense. But Bossa Studios have, thankfully, offered handicaps: fail a level for long enough and you'll be imbued with infinite edibility and other skills, keeping you playing for at least a little longer.

For those who find it all too much, though, it's not all bread-based thrills: a number of mini-modes have been included so you can vent your inevitable irritation. Bash through every possible surface with a baguette in Rampage mode, search out slices with a cracker in Cheese Hunt, or roll around obstacle courses in Bagel Race.

It's fun and frivolous, but again frustrating considering how undeveloped the game is. Possibly on purpose, I am Bread is filled with the kind of glitches that would normally become internet sensations. The slightest touch can sometimes make your slice careen down infinite jagged worlds, and the combination of game difficulty and glitch annoyance often translates into a complete mess.

But despite this, I am Bread is something to be admired. Because as major developers regularly sink into levels of complacence, churning out sequel after sequel, it's satisfying to know that studios such as Bossa exist. They might not innovate with their extreme gaming experiments, but at least we're all having fun in the process.