Bread & Fred by Sand Castles Studio is a co-op platformer the place you and a good friend should work collectively to climb the height of a snowy mountaintop.

Regardless of the cutesy exterior, Bread & Fred is meant to be a grueling and obscenely troublesome expertise. Impressed by the streaming phenomena of “rage video games,” those designed to be brutally unfair to make for some entertaining content material, Bread and Fred lives as much as its controller-throwing aspirations.

The mechanics are easy, tasking the gamers to leap, swing, and maintain on for pricey life with degree design that calls for mastery over its core platforming gameplay. Even from the sport’s opening minutes, no impediment has a easy answer, requiring endurance and apply to get the proper momentum and timing to beat.

However no victory is well received. With your complete sport constructed on vertical motion, the stakes are extremely excessive as a result of any mistake you make may reset you again to the start of the entire sport. It’s a punishing design that elicits frustration and real despair on the progress misplaced. That stated, I can’t assist however admire how cleverly executed every puzzle is to not solely make you need to assume and work laborious, however to additionally ship most emotional injury if you fail them. I used to be deeply impressed, even when that kind of sport design isn’t my ordinary style.

Fortunately, there are help settings for gamers like me who purely need to expertise the joys of succeeding at each puzzle so I may truly overcome the mountain. Throughout my playthrough, my associate and I planted flags as save factors that we may return to if we fell down a substantial distance and pull one another up when one among us didn’t stick a touchdown. These choices didn’t make the sport any easier, however they did permit us to make significant progress that may have in any other case been inconceivable.

Throughout gameplay, we encountered a bug the place we’d glitch right into a platform throughout a fall and get caught in our falling animation, stopping us from returning to our help flag and resetting our progress to the purpose of the glitch. There might be a “day one” patch for Bread & Fred, nevertheless it’s unsure if the patch will repair this particular bug. Right here’s hoping there’s a repair, as these have been devastating moments that soured our in any other case gleeful and raucous time with the sport.

As a result of once we didn’t encounter bugs, we had a hysterical time. We counted ourselves down for each leap; we laughed so loud my throat harm and my gosh did we fail. Each little splat animation as we slammed down from nice heights softened the blow of catastrophe and made us chuckle. All in all, we had a blast with it as soon as we discovered our rhythm and understood what the mechanics have been asking of us. And even once we didn’t, we laughed and that made it so worthwhile.

For these with out a keen confederate, there’s a single-player mode that’s significantly tougher than the native co-op. It sees you connect a rock with a smiley face referred to as Jeff to your little penguin physique, which I believe is simply hilarious. On-line co-op is not going to be accessible at launch however is predicted to launch with the sport’s subsequent content material replace round June.

If you happen to’re a masochistic and revel in ache, you’ll love this. And in case you aren’t, there’s nonetheless a good bit of enjoyable available right here you probably have a good friend courageous sufficient to affix you.

Bread & Fred is obtainable now for $14.99 with a ten% launch low cost on PC by way of Steam and GOG.

Watch the Evaluate in 3 Minutes for Bread & Fred.