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

Ubinota

Ubinota

Ubinota is a game that appears to be deceptively easy at first, but it definitely delivers a challenging experience as you progress. Levels not only come in all shapes and sizes, but thanks to the different paint colors, all with their own unique properties, the game never becomes repetitive. Anyone looking for a unique puzzle experience should definitely add Ubinota to their collection. Gameplay: Very addictive and very challenging. Graphics: Simple, but very colorful. Sound: Very relaxing.

Contrast

Contrast

The visual style is what drew me to Contrast but the clever puzzles and wonderful atmosphere is what kept me playing. Each new location was genuinely interesting to explore and the concept of switching between 3D and 2D planes mean you have to think out of the box sometimes. The latest patch fixed most of the launch issues and the result is an entertaining and memorable experience. Gameplay: Switching between 3D and 2D to solve puzzles is a unique and interesting twist. Graphics: The locations are larger than life and very memorable. Sound: Great voice acting and a stellar soundtrack.

Don’t Shoot Yourself!

Don't Shoot Yourself!

Don’t Shoot Yourself bills itself as a puzzle shmup, which is quite accurate as the focus is on carefully maneuvering your spaceship around different arenas while avoiding your own bullets. There are no enemies to defeat or power-ups to collect, but don’t think that this makes things any easier. Each arena offers a new challenge thanks to its size, shape and type of walls, which makes the game challenging and entertaining from start to finish. Gameplay: Easy to play, but tricky to master. Graphics: Simple, but colorful and unique. Sound: Some nice background tunes.

The Deer God

The Deer God

The Deer God challenges you to live life as a deer while atoning for the sins you committed as a human hunter. Don’t expect to spend your days peacefully grazing though, the game is a puzzle platformer at heart and you will have to fight hostile creatures while performing quests. The 3D pixel art visuals are a definite highlight and despite the combat the game has quite a relaxing atmosphere. It might fall short of living up to its full potential, but The Deer God is still well worth checking out. Gameplay: Gallop and double jump through different environments while solving puzzles and performing fetch quests. Graphics: The 3D pixel art visuals really make this game stand out from the crowd. Sound: Nice sound effects and a very fitting soundtrack.

Blowy Fish

Blowy Fish

Blowy Fish is a casual game that is extremely simple, but very fun to play. It loses none of its charm on PC and controlling it with a mouse is just as straightforward as it was on touch screen devices. The visuals are nothing special, but the ability to customize your blowfish with all kinds of outfits is a nice touch, while the upbeat soundtrack fits the goofy feel of the game. The game is also addictive enough that intending to play for a minute or two can quickly turn into an hour or two! Gameplay: The game is a straightforward mobile port, but one that still offers plenty of fun on PC. Graphics: Simple, but very charming. Sound: Although compromised of creative commons tunes, the soundtrack is very upbeat and catchy.

Icebound

Icebound

With its Steampunk fantasy setting and fleshed out characters Icebound is a Western visual novel that definitely shouldn’t be overlooked. The writing is for the most part very good and the story features plenty of intrigue. The visuals are a bit rough in places, but the excellent soundtrack deserves a special mention. It is a must for visual novel fans, but the puzzle elements and great story will appeal to other players as well. Gameplay: Icebound features a great story, interesting setting and even some nice puzzle mini-games. Graphics: Good, but rather uneven. Sound: No voice acting, but the soundtrack is superb.

Leave a comment

3 × four =