Back To Bed
Gameplay 8
Graphics 8
Sound 8

The interesting visuals and surreal atmosphere of Back to Bed are 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 relatively straightforward despite the odd landscapes, but overall, the game is very enjoyable and well worth the meager asking price.

Gameplay: Back to Bed features some nice brainteasers, but the timed elements can be frustrating.

Graphics: The visuals in Back to Bed are surrealistic, to say the least.

Sound: The music and sound effects fit 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 also causes him to have 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 makes things a bit trickier.

To add to the surreal and dreamlike nature of the game, Subob is 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 looks like a painting. Levels are filled with flying chess pieces, melting clocks, and eyeballs staring down from the sky or behind shutters. While most of these are just eye candy, some things can also wake Bob up if encountered. These include clocks, dogs, mouths on the floor, and whales traveling 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 indicate 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” are 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 helpful 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.

The store page warns that the game is best played with a controller, which is 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 far exceeding its stubby little limbs, though, so remember that you can pick up items from far further back than you might think.

With only 30 levels, Back to Bed is a little on the short side, but upon completion, you unlock “Nightmare” mode, which makes 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, we can hardly fault the game for being over too soon. However, given the interesting and unique premise, we hope the developers expand on the game in the future. Whether as a sequel or with DLC, we would definitely want to revisit Bob’s surreal world.

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. We would have liked to see some additional levels and more themes, but even as it is, Back to Bed is a very addictive and engaging title. It’s not the most challenging puzzle game we 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

Forgotten Trace: Thanatos in Nostalgia

Forgotten Trace: Thanatos in Nostalgia

Forgotten Trace: Thanatos in Nostalgia is a visual novel with an interesting premise, but some parts feel padded out unnecessarily. It is also the first part of what was supposed to be a three-part series, but there is no sign of the other two parts yet. This makes it hard to recommend the game as there is no guarantee the story will ever be completed. It's a pity as Forgotten Trace does have some nice elements and the art style is good, despite the low resolution. Gameplay: The story is interesting, but ends on a cliffhanger and can be a slog to read at times. Graphics: The resolution is fixed at 1024x768, but the art style is decent. Sound: Japanese voice acting and decent background music.

Ellipsis

Ellipsis

Don’t be fooled by the beautiful minimalist visuals that Ellipses sports. It isn’t just another Geometry Wars clone, but a polished and very addictive title where your avoidance skills and puzzle-solving abilities are needed instead of an itchy trigger finger. Ellipses features tons of great levels, spread across eight worlds, and in addition to plenty of replay value, it also ships with a level editor and Steam Workshop support. If you are looking for something fresh and unique, this is definitely not a title you want to miss. Gameplay: The game is simple to play, but very polished and highly addictive. Graphics: The game makes excellent use of minimalist but striking visuals. Sound: The audio complements the on-screen action perfectly.

Marble Muse

Marble Muse

Marble Muse is a deceptively simple-looking game, but thanks to the challenging controls and excellent level layouts, it is actually quite addictive. It might only feature 24 levels, but the additional challenges and secrets definitely boost the replay value. Players looking for something casual but with a bit of a challenge shouldn't miss out on this game. Gameplay: The game features well-designed boards and addictive gameplay. Graphics: Although not stellar, the visuals look decent enough. Sound: The upbeat audio is a good match for the gameplay

TurnOn

TurnOn

TurnOn is a unique platform game in which players must guide a tiny alien spark along electric wires to help restore power to a city experiencing a blackout. The game is very casual and relaxing for the most part, but some unexpected runner-style sections can cause frustration. It is also a very short game, but the healthy dose of achievements helps with the replay value. Gameplay: The game is casual and relaxing until the runner sections make an appearance. Graphics: TurnOn features 3D visuals that are viewed from a primarily 2D perspective. Sound: The jazzy soundtrack is a highlight.

Knee Deep

Knee Deep

One suicide, three investigators and a whole town of shady characters to question. That about sums up Knee Deep, but the focus on conversations, intriguing story and unique visual presentation definitely make it worth a second look. It is more of a visual novel than a typical point & click adventure, but will definitely hook anyone who loves a good story and memorable characters. Gameplay: The focus of the game is on the story and not puzzle solving, so expect plenty of conversations. Graphics: Character models look a little stiff, but overall the visual style works well. Sound: No voice acting, but the soundtrack is very good.

Darksiders™

Darksiders™

More than just the sum of its parts Darksiders is a very entertaining game that nicely fills the gap in a genre that has very slim pickings on PC. It's not going to be one of those games that people will be talking about years from now, but it's a solid title that will keep you hooked through its 20+ hour campaign. Gameplay: A pleasant mix of many different action/adventure games. Graphics: Some very nice new effects bring the zone to life. Sound: Good ambiance and decent voice overs.

Leave a comment

11 − three =