Review: Back To Bed Is A Short Title, But Doesn’t Skimp On Charm
Back to Bed is an indie puzzle title that makes use of an isometric viewpoint and surreal art style in order for the player to be part of a bizarre dreamworld. Does it prevent the players from sleepwalking themselves?
- Worth The Time?For the low price and interesting aesthetic - definitely.
- Things LovedWonderful art style; strange level design that occasionally forces you to look twice before making your move; bizarre ambient sounds and subtle music; character designs; varied challenges.
- Things HatedMore difficult levels are mostly just trial and error; a little short.
- RecommendationFor players who enjoy a more laid back approach to puzzle games and those enjoy an interesting visual approach/aesthetic.
- Name: Back To Bed
- Genre: Puzzle Game
- Players: 1 Player
- Multiplayer: No.
- Platforms: PC, iOS and Android
- Developer: Bedtime Digital Games
- Publisher: Bedtime Digital Games
- Price: $5.99
- Reviewed On: PC
The whole concept of sleepwalking is something that I find tremendously fascinating, not necessarily due to the dangers and creepiness horror movies have connected to the “act”, but more along the lines of whether the person knows what he or she is doing while walking about the place? Do they know what they are doing, but simply cannot stop themselves? Couple that with the boundless creativity one can play around with in regards to dreaming and you’ve got one interesting premise.
Enter Back to Bed – an indie puzzle game that takes the idea of sleepwalking in a creative dreamworld and combines it with an interesting art style that will more often than not play tricks on your eyes. You play as a dog-shaped character with a human face and your goal is simple: do not let Bob, a man that struggles with narcolepsy, wake up or fall from the edges of the terrain before he reaches his bed.
The game makes use of an isometric viewpoint, much like Bastion, and uses it effectively in order for you to see all possible paths without anything obscuring your view, except the deliberately misleading manner in which the art style comes into play. The powerful aesthetic and feel the game has is no doubt thanks to the visuals – it immediately reminded me of the surreal paintings from Salvador Dalí. It fits within the dream-like state of the world and characters really well.
Every now and again between levels you’ll be treated to short scenes that explains a little bit of what you’ll encounter next while traipsing around and placing objects in Bob’s path in order to get him safely back to bed.
The game starts out very simple with you having to place a gigantic apple in Bob’s path to avoid him from falling off the edge of the map. A disembodied voice, which I personally adore, explains to us that sleepwalkers walk in a clockwise fashion, resulting in Bob turning right when scenery or objects obscure his path ahead. You have to keep this in mind at all times in order to think ahead before placing objects in his path.
As you progress, you’ll be presented with more complex levels and more obstacles in both your and Bob’s path. You begin with simple puzzles where you only need to place a few gigantic apples in Bob’s way, where after you will need to get rid of alarm clocks also walking in a clockwise fashion, waking Bob, resulting in failure and a needed restart of the level. Later you’ll learn that timing of the objects placed is key to success. Every so often you’ll be greeted by a new type of obstacle to overcome and it does prevent puzzles from becoming stale.
Controls simply include the use of the mouse to move around, pick up and place objects. It is recommended by the game that you use a controller, but I found both mouse and controller to be perfectly up to the task.
The game is relatively short, but will have you scratching your head from time to time – especially when you’ve finished the game and unlocked the Nightmare versions of the previously completed levels. There is no shortage of content with regards to diversity in challenges to overcome, despite the short time needed to complete the game, it still comes highly recommended for being very affordable.