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I Am Bread - Let's Take This Baby for a Toast Drive (PS4)

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"The epic story of a slice of bread’s journey to become toast. Take the intrepid, crumby adventurer on a journey from his natural confines of the kitchen, through the home of an unsuspecting owner and into the outside world. This bread will be boldly going where no other bread has gone before!" - I Am Bread

Well it's time to take a seat on the couch and get warm with a good pair of loafers on your feet and take I Am Bread for a toast drive. I Am Bread has many different game modes, with the main story revolving around you playing as a rogue slice of bread separating from the loaf in a quest to become toast. There is a story here and it has been uniquely crafted around an unsuspecting home owner. While the owner is out at work, you, a piece of bread, make your way across different rooms in the house such as the kitchen, lounge room, garage etc, to get to the toaster or any device around that will turn you into toast. Along the way you will inevitably destroy a plethora of items found within the home. You will knock over jars, cups and plates during your journey causing them to smash into tiny pieces leaving a path of destruction for the home owner to return to. Upon his return after each level, the owner will freak out believing that some unknown person has broken into his home and ransacked it. This leads to the poor owner explaining the story to his psychologist who in turn thinks he is going mad.

The controls in I Am Bread make no sense whatsoever due to the fact that slices of bread shouldn't be able to move or grab onto things, but this is where the video game logic takes over. Using a Dual Shock 4 controller on the Playstation 4, the four corners of the slice of bread are highlighted with L1, R1, L2 and R2. When a particular corner of the slice of bread touches an object you can press and hold the corresponding button on the controller to initiate a suction cup style grabbing mechanic. Once you have taken hold of an object, wall or table, you can use the left thumb stick to fling yourself in any direction. Although it's easy to work out the controls, I never really got used to the clumsy way of moving. This isn't an issue with the games controls, rather a feature of it considering if I were to imagine the movements of a piece of bread, they wouldn't be majestic in any way. The clumsy movements seem to match the brainless style of bread.

So you start off in the first level and make your way across tables, chairs and walls to get to a toaster on the other side of the kitchen to get, well toasted. It's far from easy and has a kind of stupidly fun personality. The floor is "lava", or dirty in this case and you will want to avoid it at all costs to stop your piece of bread becoming dirty and inedible. Spending too much time touching dirty things like the floor, mould covered walls or trails of ants will cause the level to fail and you will knead to start again. 


You won't always be given the obvious toaster to convert your bread into toast. Sometimes you will have to use your imagination to find something that will be able to toast you. For example, in the second level (referred to as Day 2) there are no toasters, but you can activate a radiator style heater by pressing a button on it and then climbing onto its vertical grill. This adds a real puzzle and thinking element to the game that would otherwise be simple and straight forward in a hard to control kind of way.

Frustrations will build quite quickly if you try to rush your way through early on. You need to take your time and work out a path that might be reasonable to take in order to avoid the dirty floors and other dangerous items along the way. Don't fret too much though because if you fail too many times, the game will add a neat item near the beginning called "Magic Marmalade". This reminds me of the golden feather in the Super Mario 3D games. The Magic Marmalade will render your piece of bread impervious to dirt and grime which means you can travel along any of the dirty surfaces in the game without failing. This doesn't make the game easy, but at least a little more friendly.

There are several other game modes worth trying such as Bagel Race, Rampage, Cheese Hunt, Zero G and Free Roam. 

When you're finished, or just had enough of the story mode, you can try out Bagel Race which changes up the controls and physics just enough to feel fresh again. You play as a round bagel that can roll and can cover ground quite quickly. You will have preset tracks to cover while picking up checkpoints to ultimately get to the end as fast as you can like in other time trial type games. 
Rampage puts you into control of a Baguette or a long bread roll and the job here is to just smash the hell out of anything and everything you can. Due to my horrible skills in I Am Bread this is where I shine. If you're hopeless at the other modes, this is the one that you will also probably feel the best at home. Every mistake you make in the other modes will reward you when they're made in this mode. Just go nuts and press anything and everything. Mess = high scores.
Cheese Hunt puts you in control of a rigid cracker which controls like the piece of bread but it's susceptible to cracking. You're looking for pieces of smelly cheese to place on yourself to become a tasty afternoon snack. The cheese is hidden around the room for you to find in a cheese hunt fashion as the name suggests.

Zero G is probably the most ridiculous game mode. You are the regular piece of bread here but without any gravity. Strapped the four corners of the piece of bread are jets which push you along in the air. These controls are the most difficult of all of the modes to get right and after about 2 minutes of trying to work it out, I simply gave up. 

I Am Bread offers a totally unique approach to a puzzle game and gives you many different game modes that change up the game to prevent repetitive replay ability.  Other than a poor sub 30 frames per second the game runs relatively smooth and will mostly be appreciated when played on a couch with friends around to laugh along with. As for playing alone it can get a little tedious quickly. This one is definitely going to be best enjoyed when streaming with friends and chatting around the hilarity of the outrageous game play mechanics.


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