Foddian games are the most punishing platformers out there. The term was coined by fans the game that popularized the genre, Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy. Games that fall under this category are usually relatively simple, bosting one major mechanic that the player must master over the course of it’s run time. However, the consequences for failure are disastrous. One mistake can mean falling all the way back to the start, no matter how much progress you’ve made or how much time you’ve sunk in. These games don’t have check points, nor save buttons. Every button press counts, as one misinput could mean up to an hour or more of work lost.
Now imagine doing that in co-op. That’s the pitch that Barcelona based Sand Castle Studios gives for their first game, Bread and Fred. You and a friend play as two penguins attempting to climb a mountain while connected by a rope. The rope is both a burden and a boon. It is infuriating when your partner (or you) mistimes a jump and pulls you down with them, invalidating all of the progress the two of you have made over the last few minutes. Yet, it also is also the only path you have to victory, as using your partner to anchor, swing, and cling to walls is the only way to pass the challenging timing and physics based platforming that the mountain challenges you with. There is a single player mode where one penguin is replaced with a rock, but the game is meant to be experienced with a friend.
The game is an absolute blast, sure to have both you and your partner angry with each other one moment and high fiving the next. The controls are quick and responsive, and there’s even a countdown functionality built in, so you and your partner can truly be in sync. For those who haven’t dipped their toes into the punishing genre before, this is the perfect introduction, as struggling with a friend makes the challenge significantly more bearable.
Bread and Fred currently has a playable demo available on Steam and has a full 1.0 launch planned for some time in 2023.