By Dalton McClain / July 29th, 2019
|Title||Back To Bed|
|Developer||Bedtime Digital Games|
|Publisher||Bedtime Digital Games|
|Release Date||August 6th, 2014|
|Platform||PC, PS3, PS4, Vita, Switch, Phone|
Oh boy, where do I start. Back to Bed is a puzzle game by Bedtime Digital Games where you control a sleeping man in his dream with a dog/human/abstract thing with an apple. You try to get him back into bed….and that’s really about it. That’s really about all you need to get the gist of the game right there. So what else can I explain?
Well the art style is interesting, it’s a really cool mix of artist styles like M. C. Escher and Salvador Dali. It’s all very surreal and lends itself to actual aesthetic of being inside of a dream. The problem is that it sometimes gets in the way of the actual game. While it seems cool in concept it’s really difficult to get your head around where to go sometimes. Sometimes the floor isn’t there, sometimes it’ll let you drop down safely, and sometimes you have to bridge your way across a gap that in no way looks like you should be able to reach it. The other problem is that there’s just not enough flavor here. There’s not enough variation to keep me interested. It feels like they chose the design and just left it there, instead of running with it. A small gripe, but one that really bothered me as a fan of surrealism.
The gameplay, as well, is pretty okay. You start out by placing an apple in front of the guy you’re watching, which makes him turn and go another way. He always turns clockwise and it’s a neat concept to wrap your head around. Some more obstacles get added in later on, like clock people, train tracks, manholes, and the worst of them all, bridges. It’s a pretty decent challenge, albeit with a few difficulty spikes here and there. Your job is always just to get him to bed, however you can. The only issue I have with the gameplay is that it just isn’t fun. The only way you fail is if the man wakes up, if he falls he just resets, making the same falling noise over and over again. There’s a fast forward button that helps, but even it isn’t enough sometimes. To add onto that, I made the mistake of trying to beat this game in one go. On mobile it may be a different experience, you just grab a puzzle every now and again and solve it, but I played it on PC. I definitely wouldn’t recommend playing this way, as some of the puzzles are really tedious. It felt like it took an eternity to get through, even though it’s just a couple of hours long.
There’s a vague story too, but for the life of me I couldn’t tell you a whole lot about it. You guide a sleeping man as things start popping up in his dreams, then you get random phrases every now and again. I usually like when games are cryptic, but it never felt like it was building towards anything. There were no twists, and nothing of note really happens. It’s just bland and really forgettable.
After all that I don’t think there’s a whole lot more I can say. After the story is finished you can replay the levels with a higher difficulty. You collect keys and then get to the end, but I never found myself wanting to go back through it. The game works, it just isn’t all that fun. As far as music there really isn’t much to talk about. It’s very painfully okay ambiance. The only issue with it, besides it not feeling inspired, is that you can’t manually adjust the volume in the options menu. Just mute it or have it on full blast. It really feels like a mobile game that was ported to home consoles and the PC just for the sake of it. Even for $5.99 I can’t really recommend it, not for two hours of fairly okay puzzles. There’s just nothing to sink your teeth into.
Review copy provided by the publisher.
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