Shortly before my trip to Gamescom, my fellow PT crew member, Nathan, told me that I should keep an eye out for a little game known as Born of Bread, so when I could go hands-on with it, I just had to take the opportunity. Though I only have around 30 minutes of experience with the game under my belt, I can safely say that Born of Bread is an absolute delight, and I simply can’t wait for the full release.
You likely want to know what makes this sweet indie game so good. Well, let’s begin with the incredible humor on display. Numerous times throughout my time with the demo I had to stifle a few chuckles, less my fellow professionals think I’m strange (they wouldn’t be wrong, to be fair). As soon as I met Loaf, the main character, I couldn’t keep the smile off my face – we love a good pun at Pocket Tactics.
Not only that, but the cook that creates him goes through the motions at his impending fatherhood. Firstly, Chef didn’t mean to bring Loaf to life. He just wanted to make some bread for the Queen. As such, he can’t help but declare, “I’m a dad? But I’m not ready” with a comically scared look on his face, something he acknowledges as he goes on to say, “I’m not just a papa, I’m a dad with a terrified look.” Those are just two examples of the charming humor on offer.
It takes little time for Chef to go into full-blown parent mode, proudly stating that “no son of mine will walk around naked.” You go, Chef, you put some clothes on the little tyke. After clothing his newfound child, Chef is summoned to go and speak with the Queen, leading to the opening segment of the game where you take control of Loaf. After you leave the kitchen, break some priceless artifacts, and have a guard leaving the scene declaring that Loaf’s “not my bread, not my problem,” you enter the dining hall where the less than pleasant Queen is having words with Chef.
After seeing Loaf, she declares Chef an outlaw, leading to a little scuffle that results in Chef and Loaf being flung out the window and into the forest below. It’s in the forest where I could really get into the meat of what Born of Bread is, as I found myself in numerous fights after acquiring a new friend. Luckily, your companion is on hand to help you out, and there are plenty of other pals to meet in the full game.
During my time with the demo, I got to explore the forest as we attempted to find our way back to town. This gave me a full rundown of the combat system, which feels forgiving and easily accessible. You see, it works with a card system. For example, you need to choose the attack, item, defense, or special card, then select an action you wish to use in battle. Some actions cost points, while others are free. Those that require you to part with some battle points are more powerful.
Once you decide what you’re doing and lock in an action, you need to complete a quick time event to unleash your full potential. I say full potential because if you use an attack but fail the QTE, you still do some damage. On the flip side, when you’re on the defensive during your opponent’s turn, you must observe their attack and choose the perfect moment to block to mitigate damage. The combat is honestly a lot of fun and is perhaps one of the most entertaining takes on turn-based battles that I’ve come across.
However, there’s one thing you need to consider when choosing what weapons to carry for combat, and that’s the size of your backpack. The mechanic is very similar to that of Resident Evil, as you need to play a bit of Tetris to make the most out of the space you have. Naturally, you can increase the size of your inventory over time, and that certainly seems like something you should do.
As for the world itself, Born of Bread is simply stunning. I had a great time exploring an ethereal forest that’s as beautiful as it is deadly. At the end of my journey in the demo, we finally enter the town and find Chef’s bakery, but that’s where the joy ends, for Chef is arrested and taken away. After that, it’s up to you and Loaf to embark on an epic journey to save him, and I certainly can’t wait to see how it all plays out.
My hands-on experience was as smooth as butter, with no performance issues to speak of. However, I can’t say how Born of Bread performs on Nintendo Switch, as my time with the game was spent on a PC with a controller. Still, the pretty aesthetics are sure to be present on Switch, so at least that’s one thing besides the charming story and fun combat to look forward to.
With that, you nearly know all of the most important things about Born of Bread. The last thing to tell you is the most exciting thing of all. I spent one minute petting a fox. Yes, that’s all. Who doesn’t love petting cute forest animals? In all seriousness, you should keep an eye on Born of Bread, as this 2.5D adventure game looks to be one of the most charming titles to release in 2023.