In Back to Bed you guide the sleepwalker Bob to the safety of his bed by taking control of his subconscious guardian named Subob. Together they will travel through a surreal and painting-like dream world, avoiding dangers and getting safely back to bed.
User reviews: Positive (36 reviews)
Release Date: Aug 6, 2014
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Recommended By Curators

"Q*Bert vs Salvador Dalí"
Read the full review here.

About This Game

Back to Bed is an artistic 3D puzzle game with a surreal twist. It tells the story of Bob, an unlucky narcoleptic who has a tendency of falling asleep in his boring office and then proceeding to sleepwalk into the dangers of the big city. Luckily, Bob has a subconscious guardian named Subob, whom spawns from the mind of Bob and whose job it is to protect the sleepwalker from any danger and guide him back to the safety of his bed.

The ever vigilant Subob must guide the constantly sleepwalking Bob on a journey through a series of surreal painting-like cityscapes where the boundary between Bob's dreams and reality have vanished, as Subob is part of Bob's subconsciousness. The result is an artistic dream world that is recognizable, yet totally different from the real world, where many things are not what they seem and dangers to the sleepwalker lurks deeper in.

Key features

  • Unique surreal and artistic game universe
    A strange but beautiful dream universe that mixes elements from the real world and the world of dreams to create something unique, surreal and sometimes a bit scary.

  • Isometric puzzle levels
    Navigate detailed 3D puzzles that defy the laws of physics, wherein the player must manipulate the strange environment to create a safe path for Bob and avoid the dangers of the puzzle.

  • Two characters as one
    Play as the embodied subconsciousness, in the form of a small guardian creature, trying to save its own sleepwalking body from dangers of the the dream world.

  • Picturesque visual style
    Discover the feeling of playing in a piece of art set in a digital frame. A visual style inspired by hand-painted techniques, surreal art and impossible shapes.

  • Nightmare mode
    Unlock a hard mode of the game, made for those who truly want to test their puzzle solving skills and enjoy thinking many steps ahead, or who are just too stubborn to give up.

Best played with controller

Back to Bed is best played with a controller, but fear not, if you do not possess one, mouse can still be used.

System Requirements

PC
Mac
Linux
    Minimum:
    • 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.
    Minimum:
    • OS: Snow Leopard 10.6.8 or newer
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 1.8Ghz or equivalent (lower might work but is untested)
    • Memory: 3 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel Core HD Graphics 3000/4000, Nvidia GeForce GT 330M, ATI Radeon HD 4850 or better
    • Hard Drive: 600 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: Controller support: Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Playstation 4, several Logitech and miscellaneous controllers.
    Minimum:
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 or newer (other distros may work)
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 1.8Ghz or equivalent (lower might work but is untested)
    • Memory: 3 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel Core HD Graphics 3000/4000, NVIDIA 8800 GT, ATI Radeon HD 4850 or better
    • Hard Drive: 600 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: Controller support: Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Playstation 4, some Logitech and miscellaneous controllers. Please follow this link if vsync and/or aa does not work.
Helpful customer reviews
45 of 58 people (78%) found this review helpful
1.8 hrs on record
"Back to Bed" is, in my humble opinion, the best puzzler to come out so far this year. I know, I know - that's a lofty assertion! You can't just throw "best puzzler" claims around all willy-nilly, and I get that. I understand the terrible consequences to loose declarations. But trust me when I say this is fun, this is challenging, and there is nothing on the market right now in this quirky, surrealist style. "Back to Bed" is what happens when you let Dali, Escher, and Magritte develop a game.

Bob is a narcoleptic, and this stressful state has manifested into very bizarre, often dangerous dreamscapes. If left alone Bob will wander aimlessly until plummeting from the world into the endless void. He'll reappear unscathed but will continue this futile exercise until you help direct him to his... mind's bed? And what are you exactly? Well, you're Bob! Or you have Bob's face. With a blue cat body. Perhaps you're Bob's subconscious? It's all very strange. But suffice it to say you have to keep Bob safe. From plummeting. From fish trains. From vicious dogs and alarm clock men.

If you're anything like me you'll just let Bob plummet to his death for the first few minutes of any given level just to take it all in. Magritte apples litter each level. Melted Dali clocks drape Escher stairs. Tentacles writhe in the background while large, unblinking eyes watch from starry night skies and dreamy clouds. It's very stylish and mesmerizing. But eventually you'll have to get Bob to bed. This requires a fair deal of thinking. You'll manipulate apples to block and guide Bob's path. Later levels require you to create fish bridges to get across gaps. Aforementioned dogs, trains, clocks, and toothy manholes will need to be avoided. It's very rewarding to get Bob to safety.

Now this is a short title. I wrapped up the main game in about an hour and forty minutes - and I am NO good at puzzles. I never found myself stuck for longer than five, ten minutes tops. There are two "campaigns," a rooftop themed world and a harbor one. But once you finish there is a nightmare mode of these two worlds that is much more challenging. The levels are the same but you'll now have to grab a floating key to unlock the bedroom door. This will be the mode that provides the most stimulating experience.

"Back to Bed" is charming, weird, and fun. It's short but well worth six bucks for the ride. Puzzle fans and surreal aficionados rejoice.
Posted: August 6
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27 of 33 people (82%) found this review helpful
2.1 hrs on record
Sleepwalking is something I struggled with for most of the early years of my life. Not the (mostly) harmless sort where you pace around your room a bit or go to the bathroom in your sleep; the kind that saw me walking straight out the front of my house as if I was possessed, often waking up in fits with no idea how I’d gotten where I was. Bob might possibly have it even worse however, as the tedium of his job has caused him to fall into a deep sleep as his body takes over and attempts to guide him back to bed (oh hey, that’s the title of the game), no matter how precarious the objective becomes.

Back to Bed doesn’t cast you as Bob though, instead placing you in control of his internal guardian Subob, who must frantically navigate the surreal world of Bob’s dreams in order to direct him into the safety of his waiting mattress. You do this by placing giant apples and, er, fish, to change Bob’s direction and protect him from anything that might disturb his slumber as he walks zombie-like through the eccentric puzzles of his dreams.

Although the puzzle designs are perfectly solid, Back to Bed runs into the problem of ending itself far before its mechanics have any time to grow. After just fifty minutes I was already watching the credits, never having gotten to the point where the puzzles actually began to challenge or even really interest me. The actual framework of Back to Bed is excellent, but how it applies it is a lost opportunity. Even with how brief the game is, I found myself losing interest the longer I spent with it, as the puzzles are simply not engaging enough to be stimulating or satisfying to solve. The additional nightmare mode you unlock after completing the main levels remedies this slightly by adding a new challenge of having to collect a number of keys before you can unlock the door to your bed, but it provided but a small increase in challenge which wasn’t enough to make up for the fact I was playing through the exact same content again (it also only managed to double my playtime, which still felt far too short and insubstantial).

What makes Back to Bed engaging despite the shortcomings of its puzzle designs is the wonderfully bizarre nature of its world, and the great atmosphere it creates. Aesthetically it blends the styles of Escher and Dali into a new, even more abstract look, with the impossible twisting and layering of its architecture adding a special flavor to how puzzles are laid out. The eerie dialog (which was recorded with the voice actor saying the lines backwards, and then played in reverse) might be the weirdest, most compelling aspect of the game, doing more than anything else to engross you in Bob’s dreamscapes.

Back to bed is both a hard game to make a case for, and one which I wish I could completely recommend. It appeals both to my love of abstract art and puzzle games, but at the same time feels like an unfinished game. The ending comes far too quickly and provides little payoff for the tenuous puzzles than preceded it. There could have been something brilliant here had it not cut itself so short, but as it stands Back to Bed feels like being woken from a good dream too soon, leaving you feeling confused and annoyed as you attempt to hold onto something that is already beginning to fade from memory.

Full disclosure: Back to Bed was reviewed using a copy of the game provided by the developer.
Posted: August 6
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27 of 37 people (73%) found this review helpful
2.8 hrs on record
Back To Bed tells the story of a sleepwalker named Bob and his ‘dreamdog Bob’ (it's some sort of dog’s model with the face of Bob). that has to guide him through his dreams. It's a puzzle game at heart inspired and influenced by games like Monument Valley, Echochrome and The Bridge, games that were in turn inspired by the Dutch artist M.C. Escher.
This means that the game allows you to walk on things like walls - things that aren’t physically possible for us humans (not without any help at least) - and huge, watchful eyes and flying hats soaring through the air are very common in this game, too. In short; things that don’t make any sense, like most of our dreams. Welcome to Back To Bed. (edit: the review continues)

The goal is to bring Bob back to bed (hence the title) and to do this you have to help him by picking up and placing apples scattered across the environment. Every time Bob encounters an apple he will walk clockwise. There are only a limited amount of apples available in every level so sometimes you have to quickly move the apples around. In the later levels the levels are twisted in that famous M.C. Escher kind of way, making it deceivingly hard to navigate quickly. Moving objects and items like walking clocks and blowing steam pipes are also added to the mix later and as a result require that you both act and think fast in order to overcome the challenges presented to you.

There is a restart/retry button and in the beginning you’re wondering why it’s there. There are no disadvantages to dying/letting Bob fall off (i.e. unintentionally waking him up) until later in the game, where you can get hit by trains or fall down tiles and once that happens it’s an instant failure and you have to retry the level.
There’s a small bug whenever you fail by colliding with an object (which results in the Retry/Quit menu appearing). In order to navigate through the menu you obviously have to use your controller (or mouse) but if you use a controller (like me) it also still moves around your character. Nothing big or even game breaking but something I wanted to mention nevertheless.
And another thing I’d like to mention is the fact it sometimes is hard to see the depth of a level. I’ve had multiple times where I thought Bob would walk properly on to the next part of a level except to see him fall off seconds later.

The graphics aren’t as colorful as stylish as the games I previously mentioned but it has a charm of its own. It all still looks nice, just not amazing. The changing background is a nice touch, and everything else is nicely animated as well, with all kinds of objects moving in the background.
I do think the camera is zoomed in too far, because you have a much better overview when it’s entirely zoomed out. But it’s probably done this way to you a connection to the characters instead of just putting it high up there and letting it become ‘just another quirky puzzle’ game. It’s just too bad that these characters have no real depth and we know nothing about them, nor do we ever learn anything about them during our journey.

At first I thought the ‘narrator’ was just poorly chosen because the way he tells you about things (objectives, warnings) is done in a slow and unnatural manner, spoken with a deep voice. But the more I thought about it the more I changed that opinion (especially because later on it starts to twist everyday words). I still don’t think it’s the best voice out there, but they did manage to evoke a feeling of creepiness and something you could come up with in your dreams. The music itself is slow, as if time is slowing down. Combined together, they actually work very well.

Unfortunately it’s a pretty short game and just when you think the game is starting to throw some tougher puzzles your way it abruptly ends after finishing only two worlds. Completing these two worlds will take you 90-120 minutes I think. After that you can try the Nightmare mode. Now, this mode doesn’t unlock any new puzzles (as far as I know, at least) but they ‘remix’ the levels by letting you first collect a key before you can get through the door towards Bob’s bed. It’s harder and obviously meant for the die hard puzzle fans out there (or those who just want to play more of it/can’t get enough of it) and I think you can add another 1-2 hours to the total amount of playtime here. It’s not much, but still, more gameplay is always welcome I guess. Unless it’s a bad game. In that case, it’s never a good thing.

Back To Bed is a cute experimental puzzle game that I’d like to see more of in the future. Change up the graphics a little bit to match the unique puzzle style and make the puzzles more like the ones we’re presented near the end of the game. And above all, make it bigger.
In the meantime this will do nicely. Very nicely in fact.

So, I think a nice PSA seems to be appropriate here:
Attention to all M.C. Escher and puzzle lovers out there: Back To Bed might not the biggest game out there, but it is a game with a big heart and one that deserves your attention.

[Rating: 74/100]
Posted: August 6
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27 of 41 people (66%) found this review helpful
5.4 hrs on record
hi, my name is bob and i'm narcoleptic.

in my dream i'm a lucid doge trying to guide my sleepwalking self through obstacles designed by mc escher, magritte and dali.

is this an affirmation? maybe.

is this a spoiler? definitely!

i'm going back to bed now...
Posted: August 7
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16 of 22 people (73%) found this review helpful
1.7 hrs on record
A simple but very fun puzzle game with a really cool artstyle!

Link to my Video Review
Posted: August 6
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