PC, Nintendo Switch, PS5, Xbox Series X|S
December 5, 2023
Thanks to its resemblance to the beloved Paper Mario series, Born of Bread immediately captivates fans eagerly awaiting a similar experience. Unfortunately, I am not one of them, but this doesn’t weaken the charm that Born of Bread brings from the moment you started playing.
The game unfolds as a twisted tale started by researchers stumbling upon ancient ruins, accidentally unleashing evil beings on a quest for magical Sunstones. On the same chaotic night, the royal baker created Loaf, a sentient doughboy who is destined to become a hero. As the evil intruders siege the queen’s castle and unjustly frame the royal baker, the magical doughboy starts on a quest to clear the baker’s name and dive into the mysteries surrounding the villains.
Loaf is not alone in this charming yet strange journey; friends with unique skills join to help solve puzzles, counter troubles, and ultimately restore peace and order to the kingdom.
As a 2.5D RPG with turn-based battles, Born of Bread makes some great aesthetic choices. The quirky and strange story demands a vivid and animated world, and the game delivers precisely that. From character designs to the overall environment, cuteness is the theme. Everything fits seamlessly, creating a natural and harmonious atmosphere. It’s as if the vibrant and colorful cartoon-like world is the perfect stage for a story about a piece of bread battling baddies.
The consistency of the game’s cuteness is enhanced by various performance details. Despite remaining silent throughout the gameplay, Loaf’s emotions and reactions are captured through small facial expressions, adding an adorable touch. Navigating the paper-cut 2D characters through the vivid 3D world brings joy and a sense of nostalgia, especially during scenes exploring between forests and cliffs. The light platforming elements made me feel like a teenage boy playing Crash Bandicoot on his PSP again.
Apart from the world-building and character design, the dialogue plays a significant role in completing the world of Born of Bread. However, this is where things start to feel a bit… off. While the story is already strange, the game chooses a funny and quirky lighthearted delivery with an abundance of bakery-related puns. Some jokes brought a smile to my face, though the overuse of puns weakens the dialogue’s ability to build the world and explain the plot points.
It feels as though Born of Bread opted for forced puns and jokes instead of explaining certain details, breaking the story into many small fragments and weakening its fundamental foundation.
“…Born of Bread opted for forced puns and jokes instead of explaining certain details… weakening its fundamental foundation.”
As a turn-based game, Born of Bread’s battle system is easy to get used to but lacks some further improvements. Battles mostly take place in the form of quick-time events (QTEs). Depending on the enemy, QTEs can get harder. Players need to watch out for different signs from the enemy to prepare for the next QTE moment. Players can also choose to heal at the cost of healing items. Unfortunately, players are only allowed to carry five items while exploring. This is a bit annoying since you have to rearrange the items every time a new item becomes available to pick up.
While there are skill trees and weapons for Loaf and his friends, these skills are not necessarily well-distinguished from each other. I was basically using the same attack and the same teammate (you could only choose one teammate to fight with Loaf in each battle) throughout the game. With that said, Loaf’s friends’ special skills are important to unlock certain paths and areas on the maps for side requests. While these side requests often contain good rewards, roaming around the same map over and over again to unlock new paths can be a bit repetitive.
There’s also a semi-complicated enemy strength/weakness system when encountering certain attacks. The good thing is that the game highlights these elements during each battle. While heavy work was avoided due to this system, it also reduced the difficulty of the combat and made me question if this strength/weakness system was a bit extra.
Another thing worth mentioning is that the launch version of the game on Switch seems to contain bugs that could crash the game. It’s something I faced and users on Reddit have reported similar incidents across all platforms. As of writing this review, the game developers have released patch 3.0 and claim to have fixed bugs and issues that were experienced by players the most.
Born of Bread is a game that will surely make you laugh, bringing you on a 10-hour lighthearted journey with some of the cutest characters you can find in an RPG, in a world where the word ‘worry’ seems not to exist. Like a cute little sweet snack, it might not fully satisfy one’s hunger for a hearty adventure, but it will certainly leave a smile on your face. That being said, there is room for a lot of polish to take this game to the next level.
- Cute, fun and consistent vibes
- Easy to follow gaming instructions and combat system
- Fantastic Paper Mario inspired aesthetic and game mechanics
- Dysfunctional dialogue failed to serve the story
- A large amount of jokes and puns got awkward due to overuse
- lacks challenging battles and involves repetitive roaming of the map
Without a doubt, Born of Bread is a fun game. It is entertaining and charming in its own ways. Though the game mechanics are under the influence of its critically acclaimed senior, it still manages to leave memorable moments for its players with great aesthetics and a vivid world. While Born of Bread does provide a lovely experience for gamers who are seeking simple and casual pleasures, the game would need to polish its combat mechanics and storytelling to enable a more well-rounded experience for other gamers.