There aren’t many days I’d ask myself, what would I do if I where a sleepwalking narcoleptic? In Back to Bed by Danish indie studio Bedtime Digital Games this is the question we must answer.
The main character, Bob suffers from this very affliction. Fortunately, he drifts away in to the dream world and his ‘embodied subconscious’ helps Bob through levels reminiscent of M.C. Escher mixed with Salvador Dali Art paintings. Of course you play as the ‘embodied subconscious’ that looks kind of like a dog with Bob’s face. The task is to get Bob through the dream world and to the safety of his bed.
Seems simple enough only, if Bob hits into an object he always turns clockwise. As his helpful subconscious you will guide him using giant apples to block his path. Later you use fish as bridges over gaps. If Bob gets to a ledge he falls off and restarts from the beginning of his sleep walk. Any objects that have been placed remain where they are and you are otherwise unaffected. However, if he is woken then you must restart the level from scratch.
The only things that wake Bob are alarm clocks and dogs that are pretty much the same enemy. They both run until they hit something and then, like Bob, turn clockwise. The only difference is clocks when redirected fall off ledges and dogs don’t. Trapping them in a small loop easily contains the dogs. To add to the puzzle elements the game introduces portals, stairs that let you walk on walls to gain items to use and pipes with mouths that blow wind and can carry Bob over gaps. There are also floor traps but I found them easy to avoid.
Overall the game plays well with responsive controls and charming visuals. As interesting as it is in style it only took me only 2 hours to beat. For those hours it was fun but nothing really challenging or mind bending. Even the Nightmare mode unlocked after completing the game has little to offer. You have to pick up keys scattered around the level before sending Bob to bed. It’s an added challenge but it’s on the same levels you just played and they don’t take that long to solve.
I found Back to Bed to be a fairly short, simplistic puzzle game that works competently but is just never quite challenging or interesting enough.
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