Is this a must-knead RPG?
Beings from another age are causing havoc across the land! And with their mischief comes a great threat to everyone. The unlikeliest hero, a golem born of bread, will find himself and his newfound friends in the middle of a drama that’s thousands of years in the making. Together, they will visit incredible locals and meet fascinating characters, from the mysterious ruins of the Forest of Roots to the frozen landscapes of Frosty Flats. Although he may not look like much, Loaf might be the hero this land kneads.
One look at Born of Bread and you will instantly think of the Paper Mario games, especially The Thousand-Year Door which is one of my favourite games and while that particular Paper Mario is getting a remake in 2024, Born of Bread is here now as a homage/spiritual successor to the game. But can it rise to meet expectations?
You play as Loaf, a literal living loaf of bread. The story has plenty of baking puns and typical humour you would expect from a Paper Mario title. You’ll come across allies who you can switch between during combat and exploring, while each has their own unique ability which can uncover hidden treasures or open up new paths or shortcuts.
The turn-based combat of Paper Mario is replicated here well. Your characters can block attacks with the right timing of the X button and attacks are a mixture of timing or button combinations or manoeuvring the left stick in different ways. There are plenty of side-quests alongside the main story that will require quite a bit of backtracking, plus each area seems to have 2 hidden creatures that can be traded in for skill points for your allies.
Now, for the bad news. The game has a few bugs that I hope will get patched in the future. For me, it is a case of trophies not unlocking/tracking properly as well as not being able to finish up certain side-quests. There were a few visual glitches with characters following you at times, but I haven’t seen it after the second chapter. It’s a bit frustrating when the game is a superb homage to the Paper Mario games for it to have these niggling issues, but like I said, I hope it gets fixed soon.
The visuals are great with the Paper Mario-esque art style and the framerate is solid throughout. The music is also pretty decent, while the dialogue is told through text so there’s no voice-acting, which feels right for a game like this.
While it has a few bugs that need ironing out, Born of Bread is an incredible tribute to Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. It scratches that itch for those of us who have wanted a proper sequel to that game and this delivers a truly memorable experience from beginning to end. Once patched, this will definitely be a must-knead game.