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Traption Bakery is a nonsensical bread-making puzzle box

As I understand, every single person over the age of 25 took up baking the second lockdown went into effect. Granted, I did not, and that’s probably because the process of baking seems about as complicated as its representation in upcycling puzzler Traption Bakery. Released this week, Jon Prestidge’s lovingly-drawn construct ’em up asks you to turn piles of garbage into a self-sufficient baking monstrosity.

First debuted on mobile back in 2016, Traption Bakery is a sprawling, incomprehensible web of machinery for breadmaking framed in… well, a frame. That’s cute, actually.

Rather than having you build a bread-making machine from scratch in a Factorio sorta way, the construction in Traption Bakery is complete. Instead, it’s your job to determine how this Rube Goldberg contraption actually operates – prodding and poking and pulling at its various wheels, levels, pulleys and buttons to work out what they do, exactly.

It’s a delightful premise, and one rooted in what Prestidge calls “upcyclepunk”: the act of reusing and repurposing items in a “functional, attractive and interesting manner”. His machine, then, is cobbled together from old fairground rides, tall ship wheels, brass instruments, lamps, beakers, and all sorts of miscellaneous nonsense. it’s all very cleanly put together, too, penned in an architectural drafting style that’s far removed from the cluttered hodge-podge of Getting Over It.

Solving the contraption seems a nightmare – but then, to Prestidge, that hardly seems the point. The Steam page urges a slower pace, an idle look here or there to see what things do. “This is a curio too,” he reckons. “Every now and then just zoom-in, zone-out, look around and marvel at all the crazy things.” That’s great, pal, but I’m craving a good loaf of sourdough and need to work out how this blasted oven operates.

Traption Bakery is out now on Steam for £3.99/€3.99/$4.99.

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Natalie Clayton

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Writes news when everyone else is asleep, sometimes

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