Back to Bed is a puzzle game developed by Bedtime Digital Games that tasks players with guiding a sleepwalker named Bob through a surrealist world in order to return him to his slumber. Bob’s journey back to bed is far from easy as walking alarm clocks and whale trains among other anomalies stand between him and a good night’s rest. Thankfully his subconscious, Subob – a dog with the face of Bob, acts as a guardian that guides Bob safely back to bed.
Back To Bed: Playstation 4 [Reviewed], Playstation 3, PS Vita, PC, iOS, Android
Developer: Bedtime Digital Games
Publisher: LOOT Interactive, LLC
Release Date: 25 August 2015
Price: £14.99 [Disclosure: Game copy supplied by Publisher]
The surrealist aesthetic of this title works very well as it is not only pleasing to the eye, but also captures the essence of the dream world. Those with a passion for art in particular will find the visuals to be quite enjoyable as artistic works such as Salvador Dali’s The Persistence of Memory can be found throughout Bob’s dream. Character designs are also suitable and never feel out of place. Even so, these aesthetics do not have very much correlation to the actual gameplay and as a result feel more like a glossy coat to a rather dull puzzle game.
There is not a great deal of challenge offered in Back to Bed. Occasionally players may find themselves confused by a certain puzzle, but they will quickly find the solution whether it is via trial or error. The lack of challenge mainly lies in its overall simplicity. Subob uses giant green apples as blockades and giant fishes as bridges to guide Bob through each dream sequence. These tools are used both to prevent Bob from falling off ledges and to deal with the various obstacles found throughout the game. It eventually becomes tiresome to pick up and place apples with the occasional placing of fish thrown in. The simplicity of the game does however, allow for the game to never feel frustrating.
Back to Bed does not possess much of a story as it pretty much explains that Bob requires Subob to guide him through his dream and back to bed. There is a voice that occasionally pops up throughout the game that is used to explain new concepts and to sometimes make the game seem more than it actually is. For instance, the voice may say something along the lines of, “the dog is not a dog.” Players very well know that the dog is actually a manifestation of Bob’s subconscious, which results in the voice generally seeming unnecessary outside of the gameplay assistance it provides.
With a lack of story and simple puzzles, Back to Bed makes it difficult to return to the game to play through its nightmare mode or replay it at all. In addition to this, the game is an extremely short experience, taking a little over an hour or so to finish. The visuals are truly appealing and may alone warrant a purchase from those with a knack for art, but overall there isn’t very much reason to visit Bob’s dream.