Steam is an interesting platform. Not only are there thousands of really great games, as well as an influx of classic retro games that are constantly being re-released on the platform thanks to companies like Night Dive Studios. But there are other games to be discovered on Steam, some completely flying under the radar, but findable if one only dives just deep enough.
One such game is Return, a cute little indie game developed by Breadmeat, and published by PyschoFlux Entertainment.
Who is Breadmeat you ask? Your guess is really as good as mine. While they do have both a Tumblr and Twitter page, they don’t seem to have much information on where they live or what they do. Just lots of cute art posted, the occasional cat or otherwise real life picture, or a video of a game that they’re working on.
Still, I think Breadmeat’s worth a follow to see what new little games they put out – plus that art is really adorable. It’s a surprise they don’t have more followers.
Return itself is a rather simple free to play game that was made by Breadmeat back in 2018. It is an auto-scrolling 2D platformer where players control a cute little spirit (That kinda looks cat-like to me) and are allegedly trying to guide it home. The Steam page really doesn’t say much – only that you’re to “Take the lost soul to its home.”
It’s got something of a CRT-TV style to it as well, with a bit of a VHS look too. Which I think works hand in hand really well with the dream-like aesthetic the game has going on as you descend from the clouds into a rather surreal world where giant eyes follow you, cats are your checkpoints, and menacing spike balls bring careless souls to their end.
Return is also a surprisingly short game – the whole thing can be completed in a little over ten minutes if you’ve got the gaming chops, though less experienced gamers might take a little longer. Makes me wonder if this was a school project like some of Breadmeat’s other games, or perhaps some kind of proof-of-concept? A game to release and see the reception of before planning on more? Only time will tell.
There are lots to like about the game, though. Such as the soundtrack – which interestingly enough is titled “That Kid in Fourth Grade Who Really Liked the Denver Broncos” – it’s a nice, calm piano song that also lends itself to the dreamy nature of the game, and even gets more mileage as reversed versions of it appear in the title and ending screens. Not to mention the game is simply gorgeous in action.
It’s also pretty challenging – but not too hard. It can be tough, but I feel like the calm, relaxed chill nature of the game helps prevent severe frustrations. Plus, how can you stay upset at something so cute?
I also really loved how the game teaches you its mechanics. No lengthy in-game tutorial, just some early trial and error. You start close to the top of the screen, so learning that going off screen means death is easy to come by. Caution signs warn you to keep away from spikes, and arrows guide players to hop on the black spring blobs and to bounce on the flowers to transform blocks.
Not to mention there’s the game’s ending, which has led to quite the theories in the comments of the few game play videos I’ve found and in the Steam Discussion forums for the game. I won’t spoil it but…it’s interesting.
Overall, Return is a cute, simple little free to play game that any lover of challenging platform games, indie games, or anything dream-like will enjoy. Definitely check this one out, and make the return journey home.
If you want to see the game in action, check out a play through my alter-ego Razzle Joestar did recently. Be warned it’s of the entire game, so spoilers ahead!
What are your thoughts on Return? Sound off in the comments down below. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next time.