Challenging the Snowy Peaks: A PAX East 2023 Preview of Bread and Fred

Challenging the Snowy Peaks: A PAX East 2023 Preview of Bread and Fred

This year’s PAX East 2023 offered a lot to check out during the show including tons of indies as well as some bigger titles coming out in 2023. For me, I always enjoy searching for hidden gems on the show floor or some of those games off-site. During that time, one game that caught my eye ahead of PAX East 2023 was Bread and Fred from Sand Castles Studio as it was something you could play solo or play with a friend. During my appointment, I had Marooners’ Rock writer Matt K join me to check out the game.

On-Stage Demo

At PAX East, Matt and I went next door to check out some of the titles Apogee Entertainment brought to this year’s event. During our time we tried out a demo of Bread and Fred. We both had a lot of fun playing the game, despite encountering many challenges and failures while attempting to beat the demo. Yes, we did beat the demo during our time there. In Bread and Fred, there are options to play in single player mode or co-op mode. The game itself does have modifiers for those playing such as markers for respawning when you fall or if you want to mid-jump respawn to pick on your co-op friend; this will be great for those looking to beat the game without hours and hours of falling as you progress into the game. There are also other settings, but I’ll let those of you looking into the game find those features as they are helpful, but something I could see the team disabling achievements if used.

Multiple Options of Play

In Single Player mode, the user controls the character Bread, who is accompanied by a rock. The objective is to climb to the top of a snowy mountain using precision and skill. In CO-OP mode, the user can play with their friend, forcing players to work together with precision to climb the mountain. The climbing mechanics in the game require careful control, as there were instances where Matt and I accidentally launched ourselves back to the starting point or lower levels while swinging, trying to grab the wall, or hitting the slope of ice. Despite the challenges faced, we both are looking forward to playing the game again.

Simplified Art Style

The art style of Bread and Fred while an indie game is something very simplistic when it comes to its art in the pixel theme world. The in-game world will have different themes as you progress; from the hills outside to the mines inside, and the many other locations you’ll learn about.

The cute 2D art style will feel nostalgic to players who grew up in the 80s and 90s with its 2D pixel art. The penguins and their rock friend will make climbing for your life comedic but also cute. Bread and Fred should give players who love cute animals a smile as they swing for their lives.

Speed Runner’s Delight

During our time, I did bring up that this would be a game I’d love to see speed run. They didn’t disappoint, as at the end of our time with the game, we got to witness a speed run of the demo. While it took us nearly 30 minutes to beat the Bread and Fred demo ourselves, it took this user under 2 minutes to beat, all while showing the buttons they were pushing and tricks we would’ve never thought of doing. I also asked during our time, how long will this game take to beat. We were told it would take a decent amount of time, minding your skill level.

Overall, Bread and Fred is one indie game you’ll want to keep an eye on if you like challenging games for yourself or for co-op with friends. You can learn more about Bread and Fred at or follow SandCastles Studio on Twitter. For those of you interested in chatting with the team, you can join their Discord.

Avid collector of Funko Pop! items, Pokemon and video games. Raises money for Extra Life since 2012. When I'm not collecting great things or helping kids and others via charity. I'm writing news, previews, reviews, and running giveaways. You can reach me at andrew at maroonersrock dot com as well.

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