In the spirit of our favorite consumer driven Holiday, I have decided to spend the 12 days leading up to Christmas playing one video game a day and then reviewing it. Obviously none of these games will be taken to completion so all thoughts are initial impressions but I hope they can give you some insight into whether you so try, buy, or avoid a game entirely if you see it for sale.
Back to Bed… is a phrase that I’ve repeated more times than I would like to admit; I think my co-workers have heard me consistently state day-in, day-out, that all I want to do is “go back to bed”. Creators Adrielle Buus (Art Director), Dion Christensen (Programmer), Lasse Juul-Jensen (Programmer), & Lasse Westmark (3D artist) have created something completely removed from my depressing relationship with sleep and turned the phrase Back to Bed into a surrealistic puzzle game that I’m absolutely in love with.
The game’s plot centers around sleep-walking character named Bob who must be guided by his adorable subconscious safely back to bed. The isometric style of the game pays homage to Escher and provides a cute, relatable aesthetic for visually interacting with what is supposed to be a dream. The player can manipulate Bob using either keyboard, mouse, or controller, and must find unique ways to alter Bob’s path so that he does not ‘die’ in his sleep. It’s interesting to note that the character can’t die as it is a dream – you simply start from the beginning of the level again. It’s interesting to consider that completing a level is what actually takes Bob from non-rem to rem sleep. The lack of pressure from actual death makes the game fairly easy to jump into and doesn’t provide the same level of stress or frustration that other games (Portal) may bring.
Unsurprisingly, this game game has garnered a lot of attention from both local and international press; Back to Bed was amongst the student showcase winner at IGF 2013 in San Francisco. Most anyone that I’ve spoken to has enjoyed the game and that includes my mother, younger siblings, and peers. It’s a reasonably priced game and it seems to go on sale a lot so I suggest gifting it to your friends and loved ones if you know they are into cute games such as this one.