4.0 out of 5


  • Paper Mario inspiration
  • Soundtrack
  • Characters
  • Storyline


  • Glitches
  • More villain time

Switch, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, PC
Dear Villagers
WildArts Studio Inc.
Action, Platform, RPG
File Size (Minimum)
Release Date (NA)
Dec 5, 2023

Born of Bread is an indie, role-playing game (RPG) that’s inspired by the Paper Mario series. Its 2.5D adventure with humorous puns and interesting characters make it an entertaining game despite some visual glitches.

Gathering All the Ingredients

Born of Bread - Screenshot

Born of Bread’s story is simple but its humorous dialogues add more yeast to make it entertaining. The game starts off on an unexpected night of major incidents. Papa Baker intends to use a secret recipe to create a luxurious bakery item for the queen but instead creates a flour golem named Loaf who has a childish mind of its own. Elsewhere, three archaeologists open a set of coffins only to release a rebellious crew of misfits from the past. The head of the crew, Jester, is a prince from a once-powerful kingdom and was erased from history. He and his lackeys look to bring back the fallen kingdom by collecting special sunstones scattered across the land. If the villains achieve their goal, their kingdom will overthrow the current world. To prevent this catastrophe, Loaf will have to venture forth in this 2.5D adventure RPG.

The villains in this 2.5D title are interesting and, with more focus, could have been even more so. The game lets you control Jester for a few minutes in a handful of short segments. However, it feels like the game could have dived deeper into the villain’s side. As a result, you’re left with decent antagonists but not truly memorable ones.

The friends you make along the way have their own unique personalities and comical dialogues. The party that travels with you also has unique combat skills to aid you in the heat of battle, such as martial arts or throwing paper for damage. Additionally, each party member has a skill trait you can use while adventuring that helps uncover hidden items and new areas to explore. For instance, try digging up mounds of dirt for items or money.

Outside the main quest, the game offers a long list of side quests to tackle. It’s not necessary to do them, but they are rewarding. You’ll gain new weapons, skills, and increase inventory space. You’ll want to, since the game only lets you carry a small number of items in your inventory by default.

Kneading the Dough

Born of Bread - Screenshot

If you’ve played any of the Paper Mario games or almost any other RPG, you’ll have a general idea how the battle system works in Born of Bread. The game is turn-based, and you’ll have a set of cards to choose your action: Attack, Defend, Special, Item, Flee. For the majority of attacks, you’ll use Will Points (WP) to deal heavier damage to enemies. Special Attacks use Resolve Points (RPs) that are reserved for unique abilities like raising defense, healing, etc.

When attacking, you’ll be prompted to time your attacks. For example, to land a hit or a critical attack, you’ll have to successfully execute the required action in the attack gauge that appears during your attack, such as wriggling the stick back and forth or releasing a button at the right moment after holding it down. Each weapon skill you use has a different way of landing a successful hit. You’ll be just as active defending when it’s the enemy’s turn. Before the enemy lands a hit, you’ll have to press the action button, the same button you use to execute your attacks, to avoid the maximum amount of damage. If you’ve played Paper Mario or even Super Mario RPG, it’s very similar in battle styles. You are only allowed to have one additional party member to aid you in battle. To change a member, you have to make the switch prior to choosing your action for the round.

Born of Bread - Screenshot

The equipment system isn’t as deep, relying on learning abilities for each team member and equipping weapons for Loaf. Loaf’s list of weapons is based on what you can hold in his “backpack” space. His backpack is a grid setup and your weapons are like puzzle pieces that fit into the grid. Much like a puzzle game itself, you’ll have to use your brain to fit the necessary weapons into the grid. It adds some challenges and requires some thought in terms of what to use since some enemies are more vulnerable to specific styles. The good news is that when you level up, you can add more backpack space (to a certain limit).

Additionally, you can boost your team stats and add features, such as displaying the enemy’s health gauge, by equipping badges. Just like the backpack, there’s a limit on how many you can equip, but you can gain a few more spots when leveling up. When leveling up, you have a choice to increase Loaf’s health points (HP), WP, or RP. After choosing that, you can then choose between adding more space to your backpack or badges.

Your party’s leveling up is based on finding lost spirits hidden inside chameleons all over the world of Born of Bread. They can be tricky to find, but there’s a catch: if you hear a snoring sound effect, you’re close. Once you find one of the chameleons, hit it with Loaf’s weapon to unleash the lost spirit. Return these spirits to a mysterious cloak figure, who is located in every area, and you’re given points to help unlock skills for each party member. Each member has a skill tree that can be accessed once it’s unlocked. However, the downside is that you can’t equip every skill. Only one skill per set can be equipped. Yes, there is a limit. Also, your teammate’s stats will increase the more you unlock.

Let it Bake a Little More

Born of Bread - Screenshot

Characters are flat, 2D illustrated people existing in a 3D background, hence the 2.5D. You can control your character on an X and Y axis in said environment. However, when moving your character closer to the camera, you can run into difficulties. You’ll unexpectedly run into pillars or even walls that could make you fall off a ledge if not careful.

Unfortunately, players will encounter many visual glitches. The majority of them won’t break the game, though. For example, while visiting the cursed mansion the first time, there’s a section in the mansion where the level assets didn’t load and instead appeared as black polygons, which made it difficult to navigate from room to room. When revisiting that same section after that part of the story, everything loaded just fine. The game also needed to be closed and restarted when sound effects would randomly disappear just before battle. However, this only happened twice during this playthrough.

The menu design is fun and playful with its child-like drawings and colors, matching Loaf’s personality. Each tab is color coded to give the player an easier way to understand and remember which section is what. The quest tab under the yellow, weapons in orange, game settings in gray, etc. Sadly, there are even some visual hiccups here as well. When viewing the quest list, it doesn’t reset the location when scrolling past the end or start of the list. Instead it places you a few rows elsewhere on the list. For example, when scrolling to the bottom, it should jump you back to the top of the list. Unfortunately, it does not and places you a few rows up.

There are other hiccups that occur anywhere and hopefully many of the issues will be patched soon. Despite this, it didn’t ruin the experience or put your character in a position where you couldn’t do anything.

Aside from the glitches, there are a couple features that need to be added to improve the gameplay experience. For example, when collecting a set of items for a quest, it’s hard to know how many you’ve collected. The game doesn’t inform you nor is the number seen anywhere in the menu. There is a section in the menu for “quest items”, but unfortunately, that couldn’t be scrolled through. Another welcome addition would be a log of the game’s dialogue. There’ll be times where you’ll flip through the dialogue too fast and miss out on specific details that can help in your side quests. Having this log can be beneficial and a helpful tool for players.

Watch it Rise

Born of Bread - Screenshot

The visuals are great in Born of Bread. The levels are colorful and detailed without overwhelming the simple 2D characters that move around them. Character movements are simplistic, such as the looping animation when standing still, but they fit the 2D style well. The character design and animation is like a mix between Cartoon Network’s The Amazing World of Gumball and Paper Mario.

A handful of the levels are quite long, especially inside the whale. The last level, unfortunately, felt too short. The final boss battle felt underwhelming—it could have been more impressive and challenging. Everything outside that was a great, fun adventure.

The game’s soundtrack is energetic, fun, and blends with the game levels very well. It certainly makes adventuring in Born of Bread enjoyable with a good tune as you travel across each region. Each area you explore has its own battle music, which is something you don’t see often. Composed by Robert Kilpatrick, this soundtrack is only available for now through Steam to purchase and on YouTube to listen.

The Final Taste

Born of Bread takes a few ingredients from Paper Mario but has enough seasoning to be its own flavor. Even with the visual glitches, it’s an entertaining title to feast upon, silly puns and all. Now bake up a good time!

A PlayStation 5 review code (version 1.005.00) for Born of Bread provided for this review and the gameplay footage.

Born of Bread - Gameplay Footage

About Seth Hay - Editor-in-chief / Webmaster

When Seth is not designing or developing, he spends time with his family and his occasional dose of anime, sports and video games.

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