Sleeping on the Job
Do you like art? I do, and inspired by artists such as Salvador Dali and M.C Escher, Back to Bed is a challenging puzzler set within a beautiful landscape. Do you know what else I like? Getting to bed and sleeping. If there was a Sleep Olympics I would win gold in every single event – power napping, the ability to fall asleep anytime anywhere, sleepwalking, sleep talking (apparently the way to win the lottery is to lose some weight. Who knew? Diet starts today)! In fact, I have been known to sleep through an attempted murder right outside my front door, and an impromptu rock concert in the living room ending in someone smashing a guitar rock-star-style against my bedroom door. Sleeping is what I do, and I’m damn good at it.
Playing as Subob, a dog-like manifestation of sleepwalker Bob’s subconscious, you must carefully guide Bob through increasingly challenging levels and get him back to bed without waking him. After once falling asleep in the middle of a mosh pit, I could totally do with a Subob. Unfortunately all I have is a cat who finds it much more fun to trip me up in his efforts to claim the bed for himself. Not nearly as helpful as clever old Subob.
Bob can only walk in a clockwise direction, even if this means walking himself right off the precipice and going to sleep for a VERY long and permanent time. I barely know my left from my right so mastering only walking clockwise was a whole new challenge. Once this is mastered you have to stop Bob falling, screaming, into the abyss. Littered around you will find various items, some sent to help Subob guide Bob safely to bed, some sent to hinder Bob getting his full eight hours a night.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away and an apple a night gets Bob to bed. Found on every level, Subob must pick up and use the apples to correct Bob’s course and send him to bed. Press X to pick up an apple and X again to drop it. Apples can only be placed 2 squares in front of Bob so quick thinking is required before he strolls off the edge and into oblivion.
Avoid alarm clocks at all cost. Very sensible advice. Who in their right mind likes alarm clocks? Those pesky ticking monstrosities walk round the stage trying their hardest to wake Bob up. However, like the ever handy snooze button, alarm clocks can be redirected. Make them walk off the edge of the stage and they will bother you no more. If only Monday mornings were as easy, although I’m not entirely sure ‘I forced my alarm clock to walk off a cliff with a giant apple’ is the best excuse for being late for work.
There are 16 trophies to collect in Back to Bed; my particular favourite and easiest trophy ever is Groundhog Night, earned by walking Bob over the edge 10 times in a single level. Perfect for those of us who don’t know their clockwise from their anti-clockwise.
Sit back and relax; from the stunning landscape and the gentle soothing music, right up to the point you send Bob screaming off the cliff edge, Back to Bed is a great puzzle game that will keep you awake at night planning Bob’s route back to the safety of his 13.5tog Siberian goose down. Don’t be sucked in by the outwardly calm appearance; getting Bob safely to bed can at times be fraught with danger and panic, and his piecing screams as you once again send him plummeting to his death really are enough to wake the dead (or me)!
K Nicol Rating 7/10