Bread & Fred – Review
Follow Genre: Rage game, platforming, puzzling
Developer: SandCastles Studio
Publisher: SandCastles Studio, Apogee Entertainment
Platform: PC, Mac, Switch
Tested on: PC

Bread & Fred – Review

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Good: A true test of friendship
Bad: A true test of friendship
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Before we started this game we thought it would be about two cute penguins working together. After we played for a bit, we wondered why the game title wasn’t something like the definition of Masochism (Masochism: pleasure in being abused or dominated or a taste for suffering – Out now!) because that’s what it essentially is. Instead of your regular masochism though, you can now share it with somebody else. Yay! 


Bread & Fred does not have much of a story. For some reason, you will need to try to climb as high as possible through dangers using walls and platforms. Some penguins have tried to go before you, but none have ever returned from the top. While the starting village has plenty of NPCs, some that you can talk with, NPCs (obviously) get more scarce the further you get. NPCs also barely give you any story and often only have a sentence or two to say. Early on in the game, they will give you instructions. There are a couple of hidden achievements in the game, but other than that, there is no real narrative value.


Graphically, Bread & Fred is as much as you can wish for from a 2D indie game. It looks like a cozy game with the effect of snow falling in a penguin environment, and the game does mix it up with different environments and items over time. That being said, even beauty can cause annoyance, as this game will drop you to previously visited environments if you fail. Luckily, there are also small elements of humor incorporated in NPC penguins and objects when you come across them, and this generally keeps the game fun to look at. As a bonus, there are also emotes that you can use to “communicate” with each other.


We did not care a lot for the sound design of this game. The sound effects were very singular and repetitive, and each jump sounded generic. The rope effects are well-programmed as the rope creaks on the points where it has the most weight on it, but other than that, we found the sound to be somewhat annoying. The music on the other hand is very calm and contrasts the frustration you will feel during this game strongly.


We’re not gonna lie, we thought that Bread & Fred would be a fun platformer and not the rage game it actually is. Once we played the game for a bit, we discovered that it is fun, but in a Monopoly-is-fun kind of way. Sure, if everybody can keep their cool and you manage to keep on smiling, then you will probably have a great night, but it’s much more probable that your little shit of a younger brother somehow ends up with all the money while your drunk uncle keeps telling stories about the war. Meanwhile, you are stuck with a single street with a hotel on it that nobody will ever land on, waiting for the evening to end.

You see, Bread & Fred will enrage you, no matter what. We don’t believe anybody playing this game, especially with a loved one or a friend, is going to be able to really “enjoy” themselves. This game is torture, and it’s a game for you if you both go in fully aware that you will be tortured. To emphasize this fact, the game puts a (too) short rope between the players that you can’t get rid of, which is also part of the gameplay. There’s also a single-player mode, but it’s just as frustrating to play, and it will make you feel incredibly lonely as you are being chained to a pet rock instead of a human-controlled penguin.

The goal of Bread & Fred is easy, and much like the other rage-inducing games of late (Getting Over It, Only Up), you need to climb up with your partner (or rock) to go as high as possible and discover new stuff in the process. If you drop down, you will land after a couple of meters, or if you are unlucky, a lot of meters below. This punishing mechanic of making the player(s) redo certain parts that they were glad they got past, is what these types of rage games are all about. In this title, the mechanics are also very frustrating. You will need your full focus to use each other as a weight to swing to platforms, shortly grab walls to get further ahead, but most of all, you will need to jump together. For this, you will need perfect timing that, especially when playing online, can be ridiculously punishing and it sometimes actually kills the fun in the process. So again, if you want to play this game, know it’s a challenge you take up together, and know it will be frustrating. Alternatively, there are options to make your life easier, such as a checkpoint flag system. This allows you to place a point to return to. Some of these options might destroy the mechanics or the purpose of the game though.


Bread & Fred is an interesting indie game in the sense that it brings multiplayer and cooperation to the rage game genre. While we found it a little bit too frustrating, to be honest, we fully understand that this attracts a certain type of audience looking for a challenge. We liked the feeling of embarking on an adventure in a winter wonderland as well as the little bit of story that was present. Just know that, while there are options to make the game more tolerable, taking up this challenge, you might break up with your partner or never see your best friend again.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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I'm a game designer, developer, and reviewer. I've been reviewing for since 2017.

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