I’m not sure what I expected when I first downloaded the I Am Bread early access from Bossa Studios, the same people who graced us with Surgeon Simulator. The premise is exceptionally simple. You play as piece of bread who wants to evolve into its next stage of life; a slice of toast. To achieve this, you must guide your slice of grain to a heat source to get toasted without compromising your “edibility” on the floor and other dirty surfaces. To call it Octodad with bread is correct, to some degree. You move a non-human entity around household environments with hilariously done movements and animations. But there’s some sort of carnal satisfaction in seeing “toasting” appear on-screen as you finally make your way to the toaster. It just gives you a warm, toasty sensation seeing your little slice of grain prevail.
Guiding your way to the toaster is no easy task, however. Your first try at I Am Bread will begin with you flailing about aimlessly as you try to grasp the games controls. The numbers 1, 2, 3, and 4 each correspond to one corner of the slice. While holding down the associated number, your slice of bread will hold onto whatever surface it is on, and the arrow keys allow you to manipulate which way the bread will shift its mass on that point. The best way to understand movement in this game is to simply try it. Once you figure it out and quickly get a rhythm down, you’ll begin to tear through the environments at breakneck speeds. Once you can get your slice effortlessly climbing up surfaces, the game will really start to shine. The little nuances the game throws at you will catch you off guard and force you to think on your feet. The best example of this might be when I was climbing across a freezer door trying to reach the next counter in the kitchen. Once the bread hit a certain point, its weight caused the freezer door to unexpectedly open and forced me to throw myself off of it before my grip ran out and I would fall to the floor. I caught the edge of the freezer interior and made my way into it to regain my bearings and begin moving forward again. Moments like those somehow make a game about piloting a slice of bread feel like an adventure game.
The game also awards ingenuity. Instead of making my way all the way to the toaster one time, I instead found myself on the stove top. By turning on one of its burners, I found I could toast myself on there instead of the toaster. It made me feel like the smartest man alive. Also climbing along walls to knock a skateboard to the ground so you can ride it to the next area of objects is another type of creative feat you can accomplish that makes you feel like an expert strategist.
Being an early access game, I Am Bread still has a few kinks to work out. I found myself muting the game and plugging my headphones into my phone to listen to music just so I wouldn’t have to listen to the same repetitive soundtrack for the millionth time. The songs just sound generic and boring, and quickly grow old. Also, the game has a few glitches and bugs that need polishing. My personal favorite is when the gravity engine seems to shut off until you relaunch the game, meaning that every level has every object float around as you pilot you slice of bread through the air. It’s rather hilarious, but it does still force you to relaunch the game before you can make progress again. But it does also let you fling a weightless piece of bread into floating potato chips, so it’s not entirely bad.
Overall, I would recommend that you pick up I Am Bread if you liked Octodad or Surgeon Simulator. It is silly and lighthearted, easy to get absorbed into, and continues to have me coming back.