As far as bread goes, I’d say those unlimited top-ups you get with fancy meals can sometimes supersede the actual meal itself. A little swirl in olive oil and balsamic? Mwah, delicious. For a more regular transaction, I do love a multi-seeded loaf for the added texture. Now, would I say I like bread more than… anime? That’s tough. But thankfully I don’t need to decide, as there’s a demo of a game out right now that combines both interests. In Aeruta you play as an anime girl who defeats monsters and uses their innards to fuel her bakery business. Perfect.
The demo lets you sample the earliest portion of the game, where you’re introduced to a cute anime girl (surprise) who’d like some help running her bakery. Each day you have a choice, either venture on a roguelike run to harvest ingredients, or set up shop and rake in some dough (had to be done, sorry).
The roguelike runs have you choose your path through arenas of varying difficulty until you reach a boss. Some of the arenas are chill, with minimal angry blobs. Some are incredibly angry, with mean starfish who’ll death spin into you, or amorphous cat/dough hybrids who don’t do a whole lot besides look adorable. I’d say that combat is pretty simplistic, as all you do is dodge, jump, and smash the attack button. I find myself craving the variety of Dead Cells’ downward slams and powerful pickups, although I do understand it’s still very early days for Aeruta.
The day after an expedition, you can open up shop by cashing in what you harvested and putting bread on the shelves. The loop already hooked me in, as I made enough cash to research the “Summer Xmas Santa” loaf, but didn’t have enough to unlock the “Bedoli”, a loaf shaped like a starfish wearing a shell bra – a crushing blow. With more money I could’ve unlocked more shelves, better decorations, and enticed new anime friends to the town. My path was clear: I’d need to go back to the roguelike, beat the boss, unlock more areas and therefore, more ingredients. It’s a bit like Dave The Diver’s gameplay loop in this sense.
So if you’re a bit like me and have both a taste for bread and anime, then I’d give Aeruta’s demo a shot. There’s no release date for it just yet, but you can keep up with it over on its demo page.
Finally, be warned that it’s very anime, with some inane chatter and heavy tropes. Oh, and unless you’re able to read Chinese characters, make sure you select the second option on the menu to cycle between various languages including English. Anyway, yeah, it’ll be getting RPS’s GOTY vote. Cheers!