Finding a co-op game that you can play with a friend can be difficult. Finding a game you can play cooperatively with a friend in the same room is even rarer in this day and age; this is especially true when it comes to non-Nintendo Switch games.
Nintendo almost has a monopoly when it comes to cooperative games. At PAX East 2023, we got the opportunity to preview a game that you can play by yourself, play with a friend, or play with yourself. Okay, that last one sounds dirty, but if you are good enough, you can play this game cooperatively with yourself. Welcome to Apogee’s Bread and Fred.
So before we dive into the game’s description and the actual gameplay, let us explain the playing with yourself part. Based on the game’s controls it is possible for a player to play as both Bread and Fred at the same time.
At PAX East, we were shown a player speed running and completing the co-op demo by themself using both characters. Now, this player had played in the beta, so he knew how to maneuver both characters. Nevertheless, it was still impressive especially compared to our run.
For the Bread and Fred demo, we were required to bring a friend with us or at least someone we trusted enough to be our cooperative partner. Let’s just say, sometimes it is easier to complete a challenge by yourself than with a teammate.
This is especially true when dealing with inclement weather. For the demo, you and your co-op partner play as penguins trying to swing your way up the mountain. If you have ever played Getting Over Itthen you have a general idea of how to play the game.
Each player has the ability to either swing their partner or be swung by their partner using the interconnected rope. Being connected to your partner by a rope can make or break things, but sometimes using a giant rock would be more efficient.
With your partner, you can grab onto ledges, plant on platforms to swing, and pull your partner up if they start to fall. This makes coordinating as a team when to jump and whose going to jump rather important; thankfully, the developers include a timing button to help signal to your partner when to go.
For the less skillful players, the developers included a continuous jump and checkpoint cheat. After failing a few times, these made things a lot easier and less frustrating for us to complete the demo. Before using any of the assistance tools, we completed the area’s jumping puzzle.
The only time we didn’t was when the controller we were using disconnected causing us to be unable to grab on and pull our partner to safety. What’s nice is that the jumping puzzles skills build off of one another and don’t throw the player into the deep end.
Although the cover art shows off a 3D penguin, Bread and Fred uses a 2D pixel art style that reminds us of the 80s and 90s.
The levels are laid out to make players think about their next jump but also gives them something to look at and enjoy. Occasionally when you fall, if you land next to a penguin they will laugh or critique your landing.
Apogee’s thoughts on Bread and Fred
“Formidable platformers have always put skills to the test, but our friends at Sand Castle Studios found an amazing way to incorporate a team element, making for a surprisingly original experience,” said Scott Miller, CCO and Founder of Apogee Entertainment. “Every playtest we’ve seen has been full of laughter, yells, and high-fives between friends when they completed a hard jump together. Bread and Fred is a one-of-a-kind experience that brings out both the best and the worst in players, and we can’t wait to see the hilarity that ensues when gamers get their hands on the latest demo!”
Overall, Bread & Fred was a cute and fun cooperative adventure that gave us a great way to relax and escape the PAX East show floor. Although communication is a big part of the game, it was still fun just jumping to our doom after placing a checkpoint marker down. If you would like to try out a Bread and Fred demo, there is one available on Steam; the demo has surpassed 1 million downloads.
Bread and Fred is set to release on May 23, 2023, on PC.