“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” – Albert Einstein
Released: 1st October 2020
Available on: Steam
Created by solo developer Jon Prestidge, TraptionBakery is clearly a passion project and labour of love. Players can relax and immerse themselves in the fantastically detailed curio whilst also trying to solve the complex and often confusing contraption puzzle with the overall goal of making a tasty loaf of bread!
The entirety of the game takes place within a single picture frame containing a plethora of gadgets and objects, most of which are part of a complicated bakery contraption that makes up the puzzle element of the experience. Zooming in and navigating around the picture will reveal hidden details and text as well as highlighting interactive objects, such as handles, with a blue outline.
Working out how to cook a loaf of bread (not even a good quality loaf!) is a long, meticulous process that requires a lot of attention to detail and were it not for the curio aspect of the game, it would undoubtedly be a much more stressful process. As it is, the level of detail and subtle humour in the limited environment make it a pleasure to explore and examine without feeling the need to always be working something out or deducting information about how the contraption operates. The combination of game styles is not only unique but allows the game to be a contemplative and relaxing experience despite its difficulty, avoiding the high-pressure frustration found in similarly demanding puzzle games.
Narrative and Styling
Although TraptionBakery contains no obvious narrative, there are a selection of absent characters that the player can get a sense of and the vast and eclectic selection of objects pose a multitude of questions about their origins and story. In addition, there are a number of pop culture and other references that create a sense of familiarity in the somewhat overwhelming setting but also evokes further curiosity.
The game’s art style might look simple at first glance with its flat cream background and black line art, however, by zooming in and exploring the different objects, the detail, humour and personality become very apparent. The aesthetics fit the game perfectly with it’s varied and intriguing drawings and smooth animations matching the calm confusion of the gameplay. TraptionBakery also features some relaxing background music and stereo sound effects that can help navigate the environment and understand how the contraption operates.
For anyone that would like to know more about the process of creating the artwork for this game, the creator has also put together a fascinating ‘anorak pack‘ in which they discuss the entire development process in detail!
TraptionBakery is a unique mix of genres, presenting a conundrum of this complexity in such a relaxing way is a true feat and makes for a thoroughly enjoyable experience. It is not a short game or one to be rushed and succeeds in being a ponderous explorative experience as well as an excellent puzzle game. It’s probably not for fans of instant gratification but the original mix of gameplay, charming artwork and low price make it easy to recommend!