I am Bread is needlessly difficult.
I can’t think of a better way to start. It is the most frustrating gaming experience of my life; and it’s great. It’s a game with no deeper meaning, no story, nothing. Just you, a slice of bread, on a quest to get toasted. It’s amazing when you think about it. In a time where video games fight to be taken seriously it's the silly games that take our breath away. At opposite ends of the same spectrums you have the cinematic experiences of The Last of Us, and then you have a game where you control a piece of bread.
I am Bread really is something special. The journey from loaf to toast is a hard one; and it takes time to get there. Each level starts out the same. A loaf of bread in a desolate room of an empty house. You have one goal: toast yourself. You might be asking yourself why bread would be scattered across the house. My only suggestion is to not question it. Some things are best left unanswered and this is one of those examples. Just go with it. A quick aside for those of you who are contemplating to begin this grand adventure. First, think realistically, do you want to eat bread off the floor in real life? What about bread that falls in a sink of water? Or a litter box? My guess is no, so avoid these things in game too. You have an edibility meter, when it hits zero you fail.
As you embark on your journey to toast yourself you will learn a few things. The controls are the main reason the game is difficult. Each corner of bread is controlled by a pivot point and the triggers act as anchors. For example, L1 controls one corner of the bread, that means when you hold down L1, that corner is stuck to whatever its touching. The joystick will then move the rest of the bread in accordance. Explaining it through text makes it sound complicated but it’s fairly straightforward. That doesn’t make it easy. There are a number of obstacles you must move around. Everything from bowls to lawn mowers.
Roughly one minute of play time in and you will learn your second lesson. The physics just don’t make any sense. Your slice of white bread is capable of amazing things. I was able to pull a lamp down simply by attaching myself to it and waving wildly. I promptly used the light bulb to toast myself. Things fall over and get in your way. Long distance travel can seem daunting; but, the bread must prevail. Each level is a puzzle. There are many ways to toast yourself but the game doesn’t guide you. It is up to you to figure it out. That’s what makes it so frustrating. You know what to do, but you don’t know how to do it. You might know how to toast yourself but you might not be able to get there. Once you toast yourself the fun doesn’t have to stop. I am Bread also includes additional game modes. There are bagel races, free roam, anti-gravity mode, and a rampage mode. All of them are unsurprisingly frustrating but a decent amount of fun.
It may not be a marble rye or your fresh baked French roll but that slice of white bread has ambition. You can carefully guide your bread to its warm destination. It is incredibly rewarding to finish each level. The game really is hard, it’s frustrating, but it is fun. It’s laughable in the best ways. The concept is outrageous, but it works. However, at the end of the day, it is a game about a piece of bread.