PAX: Born of Bread could prove to be a delicious RPG adventure

Born of Bread

All about the dough

Born of Bread starts off simple enough. Papa Baker, a chef for the city’s royalty, is asked to make some special bread for the evening’s dinner. After using a book with a cursed air about it, he accidentally creates a sentient dough boy. He dubs the living loaf as Loaf, and so Born of Bread begins: an adventure following a magical bread boy brought to life.

It is charming, for sure. Role-playing games don’t always demo well in loud, busy show-floor settings like PAX East 2023, but Born of Bread immediately clicked. It’s got a gorgeous look, evocative of its inspirations in Paper Mario; the writing is fun, and the music hits. It’s not all presentation though, as WildArts Studio’s Born of Bread is a solid RPG that’s worth keeping an eye on.

Getting a rise out of you

In my demo, soon after Loaf came to life, a series of events transpired that sent both Loaf and Papa Baker out into the wilderness. From there, the game kicked off in earnest, as we ventured to return to town. The only problem was that many paths and monsters laid in our way.

The battle system for Born of Bread reflects its inspirations as much as the look of the game does. It’s a turn-based RPG with active systems, where properly timing a defensive move or clearing a minigame will increase your skills’ power. There are a few different meters to manage, like your WP (Mana, essentially) and RP, a separate resource I wasn’t able to dip into often in the demo.

Image via WildArts Studio

Different enemies may be weak to different attack types, so it’s important to track that. The system is fairly straightforward, but it’s still engaging thanks to a decent variety of moves and foes, as well as the look and feel of the whole thing.

Forming the perfect crust

As I said before, Born of Bread is an incredibly charming game. Its art and presentation is fantastic, as 2D objects jut out from the 3D landscape. Characters react and animate in fun ways, during both battle and dialogue. All of it just has a lively, expressive vibe that comes across well.

This extends to the battles, as they use a trading card-style framing for attacking, defending, and more. What I’m most intrigued by is a system that wasn’t present in the demo: a chat feed. Much like Paper Mario has its audience of onlookers, Born of Bread concocts a chat feed in which viewers can cheer or jeer, or even request certain moves for bonuses.

Image via WildArts Studio

Add in some absolute jams for battle music and good laughs in the narrative department, and the whole thing just melds together well. This is a world I want to run around and adventure in, and I was bummed when my time came to a close in the demo. It felt like I had only just started by the time it wrapped.

The big bread-winner

What’s interesting is, it sounds like Born of Bread will not be a terribly long RPG. I asked the developers about how long Born of Bread would be, comparing it to recent titanic RPGs like Octopath Traveler 2, but their estimate was well below that sort of run time. Epic tales are great, but it’s nice to know there’s some more bite-sized adventures on the way too.

It’s really hard to say too much more than what’s been said already about Born of Bread. It’s charming, pleasant, and clearly spurred on by a love for a certain style of RPG, while still forging its own identity. I’m excited to see more of this world and its characters, to learn more about the mysterious group that hounds the party, and just get more time with Papa Baker. Thankfully, it shouldn’t be too long of a wait. Born of Bread is targeting a summer 2023 launch.

About The Author
Eric Van Allen
Senior News Reporter - While Eric's been writing about games since 2014, he's been playing them for a lot longer. Usually found grinding RPG battles, digging into an indie gem, or hanging out around the Limsa Aethryte.
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