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.