NEED TO KNOW
What is it Punny YouTube bait with a decent game on top. Influenced by Let’s plays, game jams, delicious toast
Reviewed on I7 960 @ 3.61GHz,& 6GB RAM, HD 4870 X2
Alternatively Surgeon Simulator
Price £9.99 / $12.99
Release Out now
Developer Bossa Studios
Publisher Bossa Studios
Link Official site
My ex boyfriend had a problem with bread. He had a vendetta against bruschetta. He said no to dough.
Living with someone on a low-carb diet, my intake suffered too. Since that relationship ended, I’ve been making up for lost time with bread: eating it, baking it, and now—thanks to Bossa Studios—playing as it.
I just want to stress the extent of my obsession, so you’ll realise how significant it is that for a moment I am Bread made me reconsider my lunchtime sandwich.
You control a series of self-propelled slices of wholemeal bread that want to be toast, an ambition that’s never explained but I can only assume is something to do with longevity; I always turn to the toaster at the stale end of a loaf. Most levels are a room in a house owned by a guy who leaves his stuff everywhere and apparently plays Jenga alone. In each, you have to get your slice to something hot enough to toast it, preferably evenly.
Along the way, you play ‘the floor is lava’, except not lava, germs. An ‘edibility meter’ at the top of the screen begins at 100% and diminishes every time the slice comes into contact with what the game considers unsavoury: the floor, water, ants on the countertop, etc. Unfortunately, the homeowner is a pig; he even has nail clippings on his pillow.
This is an uncomfortable game for somebody with germophobia, especially when surfaces I’d never touch with my bare hands in real life—toilet seats, bins—don’t impact edibility at all. The first time I saw my slice crawling with ants, I felt sicker than any game has ever made me, and I recently watched a friend play through all the fatalities in Mortal Kombat X.
Not everyone is as delicate as me, but I am Bread has other ways of causing pain. Like Surgeon Simulator, it’s no easy rise. I mean, ride. (Sorry.) The analog stick (or arrow keys, if you really hate yourself) alone will only nudge the slice along in short jolts. To make decent progress, you need to use the powerful grips on each corner, one per button, to flip or fling it greater distances. It’s fiddly, but maybe that’s realistic. Maybe that’s why my bread never goes anywhere.
In this world, bread is super powered. Its grip is strong enough for vertical ascent up walls and fridges, and each slice has enough heft to knock over chairs, swing open cupboard doors, or smash open jam jars to bathe itself in contents sticky enough to let it rest and recover its grip even on vertical surfaces.
Unfortunately, in this world bread can also spasm into unrecognisable shapes at inopportune moments. It can knock over a skateboard in an attempt to ride it across a room only to glitch through it and end up pinned to the filthy floor.
Those risks are particularly frustrating when performance is scored with a grade based on time, edibility, and the evenness of the toast. The first time I got an F I was indignant and sought redemption, but when I realised how long it would take to improve I gave up and used the magic marmalade that appears after a few failed attempts and makes you invulnerable to inedibility.
I also gave up because I wanted to see the new locations, one for each of the seven days of story mode. Despite many reused assets, as the guy moves his possessions from room to room, each level has something new. Only the kitchen has a toaster; the other levels have multiple alternative solutions to discover. In the garden I managed to light a match to use on the barbecue only to discover the flame was toasting the slice itself.
The story kept me going too, told in therapist reports before each level. It’s dark and gets darker, which is a delightful juxtaposition with the cartoony graphics, comical animation, and irritatingly jaunty music.
Once you’ve completed the story, free play is available across all seven locations with four kinds of bread. Each also has its own mode to suit its movement style: a race through checkpoints for the bagel, a destruction mode for the baguette, and a cheese hunt for the cracker. Cheese Hunt is the most interesting: the search encourages exploration rather than the shortest route, and since crackers lose edibility through breakage rather than dirt you’ll change how you play.
None of these modes has much longevity, but that’s okay. With its ever-present suggestion to take screenshots, this is clearly a game meant to be shared for laughs, built for YouTubers and streamers. I might put it on to show friends, but I probably won’t sit for hours trying to perfect my score. Like puns about baked goods or any kind of food stuffs, it’s good fun for a while, but you should probably quit while you’re a bread.