Back To Bed
Gameplay 8
Graphics 8
Sound 8

The interesting visuals and surreal atmosphere of Back to Bed are definitely highlights, but the gameplay is also quite addictive. It is not as challenging as some other titles in the genre, but there is some added longevity in the form of a “Nightmare” mode. The puzzle solving is rather straightforward despite the odd landscapes, but overall the game is very enjoyable and well worth the very low asking price.

Gameplay: Features some nice brainteasers.

Graphics: Surrealistic to say the least.

Sound: Fits the dreamlike atmosphere of the game perfectly

Summary 8.0 Great
Gameplay 0
Graphics 0
Sound 0
Summary rating from user's marks. You can set own marks for this article - just click on stars above and press "Accept".
Accept
Summary 0.0 Terrible

Back To Bed

Developer: Bedtime Digital Games | Publisher: Bedtime Digital Games |Release Date: 2014 | Genre: Casual / Indie / Puzzle |Website: Official Website | Format: Digital Download

Meet Bob, the hapless star of Back to Bed by Bedtime Digital Games. Unlike most video game characters, Bob is no hero. In fact, Bob is a narcoleptic who tends to drift off to dreamland at work quite often. Unfortunately for Bob this not only places him at risk of being fired, but he also has a habit of sleepwalking out into the dangerous city. It’s not all doom and gloom though as Bob has a subconscious guardian, Subob, who springs into action and guides him safely back to bed when this happens.

Back to Bed gives you control of Subob and challenges you to get Bob in bed without waking him. This means that you cannot directly influence Bob and instead must use the environment to manipulate his path. Bob is blissfully unaware of his surroundings and will continue walking in a straight line until he encounters an obstacle upon which he will turn clockwise. As Subob, you can only pick up and place elongated fish to use as platforms or Rene Magritte style green apples to alter Bob’s path. It sounds deceptively simple, but the levels are Escheresque dreamworlds filled with surreal Salvador Dali style imagery which make things a bit trickier.

To add to the surreal and dreamlike nature of the game, Subob is actually a four-legged dog-like creature with the same face as Bob. There are only two level themes, rooftops and harbor, but each of the thirty levels look like a painting. Levels are filled with flying chess pieces, melting clocks and eyeballs that stare down from the sky or from behind shutters. While most of these are just eye candy, there are things that can wake Bob up as well if encountered. These include clocks, dogs, mouths in the floor and whales travelling on “whale-road” tracks which must be avoided at all costs. Bob can also fall off the level and into the void, but this will only cause him to respawn and doesn’t require a level restart as with enemy encounters.

Guiding Bob to safety requires equal parts lateral thinking and quick reflexes as you often have to place apples and fish in just the right spots at the right time. Footsteps appear a short distance in front of Bob to give you an indication of where he is heading, but even this only gives you a short window of opportunity to make alterations if your plan goes awry. You’ll have to take into account mirrors that teleport Bob to a different location when entered as well as pipes with lips that can blow Bob off course. You’ll also have to wrap your head around the distorted perspective as walking up stairs can turn a wall into a floor for Subob. To give you a bit of a break, the game includes a fast-forward button that can be used to speed up time instead of having to wait for Bob to shamble towards where you need him when he respawns.

The interesting visual style is complemented perfectly by an equally eerie soundtrack. While playing you’ll hear all kinds of strange ambient noises and when Bob manages to make his way to his bed the welcoming strains of “Rock-a-Bye-Baby” is played. The sound of Bob snoring is also always present. The highlight of the audio is the rather disturbing narrator who blurts out all kinds of weird phrases in his distorted voice. Sometimes he offers useful advice and other times you will be informed that “the apple is a hat” or “the hand that points is a hand indeed.” Some people might find the narrator annoying, but he is quiet for the most part and adds an extra layer of peculiarity to the game in my opinion.

The store page warns that the game is best played with a controller and this is definitely the truth. You can use a mouse to control Subob, but it just feels more natural with a controller. You can only move in four different directions and pick up or drop objects, so there isn’t much of a learning curve when it comes to the controls. Subob has a reach that far exceeds its stubby little limbs though, so remember that you can pick up items from far further back then what you might think.

With only 30 levels back to Bed is a little on the short side, but upon completion you do unlock “Nightmare” mode which make things a bit more challenging. Instead of leading Bob to bed you must first guide him towards a key that unlocks the door to his bedroom. While you will be playing the same levels, the added key element requires new strategies and is quite fun. Considering the more than reasonable price tag I can hardly fault the game for being over too soon, but given the interesting and unique premise I hope the developers expand on the game in the future. Whether as a sequel or with DLC I would definitely want to revisit the surreal world of Bob.

Back to Bed is polished enough to make it hard to believe that it had its origins as a student production and was successfully funded by a very modest Kickstarter project. I would have liked to see some additional levels and more themes, but even as it is Back to Bed is a very addictive and engrossing title. It’s not the hardest puzzle game that I have ever played, but this ensures that even newcomers can have fun while the veterans sharpen their teeth in Nightmare mode.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows XP SP3
  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 1.8Ghz or equivalent (lower might work but is untested)
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Intel Core HD Graphics 3000/4000, NVIDIA 8800 GT, ATI Radeon HD 4850 or better
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • Hard Drive: 600 MB available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card
  • Additional Notes: Controller support: Xbox 360, Xbox One, Playstation 3, Playstation 4, several Logitech and miscellaneous controllers.
  • OS: Windows XP SP3
  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 1.8Ghz or equivalent (lower might work but is untested)
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Intel Core HD Graphics 3000/4000, NVIDIA 8800 GT, ATI Radeon HD 4850 or better
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • Hard Drive: 600 MB available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card
  • Additional Notes: Controller support: Xbox 360, Xbox One, Playstation 3, Playstation 4, several Logitech and miscellaneous controllers.

Related posts

Jade Empire™: Special Edition

Jade Empire™: Special Edition

Having long been an Xbox exclusive Jade Empire finally makes it onto computers with some nice added extras. It might not be as in depth as your average computer rpg, but it's still a blast to play especially if you favor combat over puzzle solving. Gameplay: Interesting storyline and entertaining combat. Graphics: Not the best, but pretty good. Sound: Some nice voice overs and effects.

Whispering Willows

Whispering Willows

Whispering Willows is not a game that is going to keep you on the edge of your seat from excitement, but the slower pace and interesting story make for an engrossing experience. Unraveling the mysteries of Willows Mansion and communicating with the lost souls that dwell there is a unique experience and one that kept me hooked from start to finish. If you demand quick reflexes or mind bending puzzles to be entertained the game will probably feel boring to you, but if you can appreciate a slower paced, engrossing experience this is a great title to add to your collection. Gameplay: Slow paced, but very engrossing. Graphics: Beautiful artwork for the characters and backgrounds. Sound: The soundtrack is very atmospheric and the sound effects excellent.

Persian Nights: Sands of Wonders

Persian Nights: Sands of Wonders

Assist Tara the apothecary, Darius the swordsman and Minu the genie as they try and take on an evil vizier in Persian Nights: Sands of Wonders. This hidden object adventure game might be light on hidden object scenes, but more than makes up for it with the adventuring elements. It features a compelling story, plenty of beautiful locations and more than enough to keep you busy. Although a little on the short side and lacking in any kind of bonus adventures, it is still a great way to spend an afternoon and definitely one of the better Artifex Mundi titles of late. Gameplay: Hidden object fans might find it a little thin on content, but there are still plenty of inventory based puzzle solving to be done. Graphics: Everything from the art style to the colors used are a perfect match for the setting. Sound: Great soundtrack and surprisingly good voice acting.

Faerie Solitaire

Faerie Solitaire

Solitaire is notorious for being an insidious little time waster and combining it with role playing elements isn't doing anybodies spare time any favors. Nevertheless this is a fun and addictive game with some cool ideas and lots of playtime. Prepare to be still playing this game long after you expected to. Gameplay: A unique and entertaining mix of solitaire and fantasy. Graphics: The artwork is actually quite nicely done and very polished. Sound: Nice ambient noises, mellow tunes and decent voice overs.

West of Loathing

West of Loathing

West of Loathing is a single player role playing game that doesn’t take itself too seriously, which results in a wild quest through the west. The world in which the game is set might be made up out of stick figures, but this doesn’t mean that it isn’t fleshed out. There are tons of locations to explore, plenty of puzzles to solve and hordes of enemies to defeat. Even better, it is the type of RPG where stats actually make a difference and your choices make a difference. Fans of the genre will love the amount of depth that the game has, but everyone else will appreciate the brilliant sense of humor. Gameplay: Packed with plenty to see and do, along with a healthy dose of humor. Graphics: The black and white stick figure style visuals might look simple at first, but definitely has a lot of charm Sound: Although the game doesn’t feature any voice acting, it has a great soundtrack and plenty of sound effects.

Grimm

Grimm

Grimm offers a very unique look at some classic fairy tales and with 23 episodes there is something for everyone. The episodes are short enough to remain fun despite the repetition and the gruesome visual transformations are still impressive. The budget price also makes it an attractive package for players who missed the original release. Gameplay: Very easy to pick up and play. Graphics: The way everything transfers from light to dark is pretty impressive. Sound: Good voice acting and some very suitable music.

Leave a comment

three × four =