Developed By: WildArts Studio Inc Published By: Dear Villagers Categories: RPG, Adventure, 2.5D Release Date: 12.5.23 Price: $29.99 *Game Download Code graciously provided for the purpose of review.
I knew nothing about Born of Bread up until a few days before it was released but when I saw the charming and cute art style, I knew that it would be a game that I wanted to play. Not only did I really like the way the game looked in its promotional material, but it marketed itself as a game that boasted a lot of silliness, which is always something that I enjoy in games.
The two strongest points of Born of Bread for me were the visuals and sound. I really liked the aesthetic of the 2.5D style, they really stood out to me and made me think back to the Paper Mario and South Park games. One thing that I really liked was how much color there is and how this was used to make the game more accessible. The color looks great and you’re able to change the scheme. There’s one option that makes nearly everything black and white but keeps things like NPC’s and intractable objects in color so they’re easier to identify. I loved the character designs as well.
The sound is just as good because of solid sound design and a really good soundtrack. The developers did a really good job with ambient noise as you can hear everything in the environment from waves crashing to those pesky salamanders. The music is really good as well and you can actually buy the entire soundtrack on Steam for only $4 which is a steal, I just wish that option was available for the switch too.
Combat is way more active than your standard turn-based RPG because after selecting an attack, you’ll get a quick-time event to determine how much damage you do or if the attack lands at all. Each attack has a different action, meaning some attacks will require you to turn the joystick quickly while others might require you to press a button at the right moment. This means you need to stay focused while battling, you can’t simply try to rush things and hope for the best outcome.
There’s also a level of strategy in combat because of the accumulation and depletion of WP and RP. If you want to do stronger attacks, you need to spend more WP, so you’ll run out quickly. But defending allows you to obtain more, so finding the right balance between is a core mechanic of gameplay. For example I would use up all my WP at the start of the battle and then defend for 2 or 3 turns to get it back. Then I learned to differentiate between who should be attacking and who should be defending on each turn.
Aside for that, combat is pretty standard because each character has their standard attacks and a special and you can use a variety of items during battle. After playing for an hour or two, it should be pretty easy to balance the different aspects of combat while still having each battle be engaging. It’s also pretty easy to avoid certain encounters or to go back and forth between areas to grind.
The story was what I liked the least about the game because the opening hours feel very half-baked. There’s so much exposition during the first hour to fill you in on what’s going on in the world but it’s many topics with only a little bit of information covering each aspect. We’re introduced to the demons and archeologists right at the start but know very little about either until you return to the castle from the forest. We’re also introduced to Papa Baker, the Queen, and the making of Loaf but there’s no backstory on any of them until the game tells us it’s important to know. Obviously you don’t want a game to pack all the story at the start but it seems that this one tries to pack so much and yet so little at the same time.
There are also a few bugs and glitches throughout the game, some are visual while others are technical or story based and can make for a bunch of minor annoyances every now and then. I haven’t experienced anything too broken but after a few hours of playing, I would easily notice when something was off or broken. The game is also a bit more expensive than I would have liked since it’s $30 and most of the value comes from the humor and the way the game looks and sounds.
I can tell that there will be some people who can’t get past the story or the glitches but it’s an overall pretty good game if you’re into the humor or you enjoyed the Paper Mario games. I wouldn’t recommend paying the full $20 though, as I would suggest waiting for a sale.