Being wildly enthusiastic about carbohydrates, and due to the lack of any pasta or potato-based games, I jumped at the chance to play I Am Bread. If you’ve not heard of it, the game is exactly as the title describes. You must hone in on your doughy roleplaying skills and become one with the loaf. Controlling one corner of crust at a time, you must fulfil every slice of bread’s destiny: Become toast.
There are a variety of game modes in I Am Bread: Story Mode, Cheese Hunt, Bagel Racing, Rampage, Zero-G (yep…), Free Play, and Starch Wars (which is a Star Wars spinoff… why not?). Story mode is probably where the majority of your time will be spent, however the other game modes are equally as challenging, if not more so, and fun.
Story Mode features an in-depth saga about the demise of poor Bob, a psychiatric patient who believes that a loaf of bread is ruining his house, his life, and is messing with his mind. Each level is prefaced by an assessment write-up by Bob’s psychiatrist, documenting the downfall of Bob, and the rise of his doughy demon.
You’ll start off where you would expect bread to be – the kitchen. The toaster is but a speck on the horizon, teasing you with its red hot grills, enticing you to become a perfectly toasted slice of toast. But first, you must master your much more elastic form and venture across the kitchen, one crust at a time, while avoiding all the hazards that will render you inedible: the floor, ants, broken glass…all trademark villains to the humble slice of bread. All must be avoided if you wish to get a nice tan.
Controlling the bread is a learning curve, and it did take me some time to get used to which button combinations would work best, but eventually I was climbing the walls like a true pro. Each corner of crust has a dedicated button assigned to it, and when you are near an object you can choose to lock in your grip in order to move objects around. Be warned though: bread isn’t that strong.
Speaking of grip, you only have a certain amount of time to execute each pivot and climb. You’re only bread, after all. Your grip meter will replenish only when the bread is left to relax. Running out of grip can prove deadly. Falling onto muddy floors will see your edibility rating go from 100 to 0 in the blink of an eye. You’ll need to think on your metaphorical feet to react quickly enough to save yourself from being brown bread (dead).
It’s all very well and good becoming toast in a room where a toaster is common, for example, the kitchen. But you will have to use your loaf (sorry… I made it this far) in further levels to achieve toastiness. How does one become toast when they’re stranded in a bathroom?
Aside from Story Mode, you can take on other forms and rise to different challenges. In Cheese Hunt you will play as a cracker, in which you will need to watch out for your integrity level as you search for cheese to augment your body with. No one wants a broken cracker. Bagel Racing kind of speaks for itself, I feel. Rampage will have you swirling around the room with elegance and grace as a baguette, wreaking havoc wherever you go (note: there’s not really any elegance or grace to this, just swing and hit stuff). Zero-G mode is possibly my favourite of all. Bread. Thrusters. Space. Knead I say more? It’s hilariously difficult but so, so rewarding.
Speaking of difficulty, this game is not particularly forgiving. I know, it’s about bread, but hear me out. Minutes of meticulous and careful climbing around the room to give yourself the best edibility rating the world has ever seen, can be undone in an instant. Plummeting towards the floor, jam-side-down, will give you little time to reflect on your life choices and where it all went wrong. You’ll have to start over. That being said, you can’t really be frustrated at this game for long: You’re playing as a slice of bread.
If you are really, really struggling with a level, you should probably seek out the assistance of the magic marmalade. Appearing like a true superhero, in timely fashion, the magic marmalade will coat your measly slice of bread and transform it into an impenetrable, invulnerable marvel. While under the loving care of the magic marmalade, you will suffer no damage to edibility, nor will you have to worry about grip. Safe in the knowledge of its infinite edibility, the bread will find a strength, deep within itself, to hold on to anything and everything it chooses.
I’ve not mentioned Starch Wars yet. Like every great game, I am Bread has a Star Wars spin-off. Play as a rye-fighter (not making this up) and defeat the enemies as you engage in outer space combat. I have no more words. If you aren’t sold on this game yet, I don’t think you ever will be – shame on you.
I Am Bread is a brilliantly funny, unique game which will make you laugh out loud. There are moments when the camera will glitch, there are times when you’ll be frustrated and scream “That’s not fair!”, but most of all you will look upon any bread with a newfound sense of respect.
No other game has had such a poignant and important message: Nothing is as ordinary as it seems.