We’ve had the good fortune in the last month or so in being able to review some great Indie developed puzzle games for the Switch including Golf Peaks, Spellkeeper and now 2Awesome Studio‘s Back To Bed.
Back To Bed was released in partnership with Bedtime Digital Games, whose already seen release of the game on Steam PC, Mobile and PlayStation systems as early as 2014. This game was originally conceived by a group of students from the Danish National Academy of Digital Interactive Entertainment who presented it at the 2013 Independent Games Festival. Back To Bed differs from the earlier mentioned puzzle games as it requires a small bit of platforming. So will it keep you awake at night is the question. This is our review of the puzzle/action game Back To Bed for the Nintendo Switch console.
“Is Bob Heading In The Right Direction?”
The story behind Back To Bed is that you, as the player, guide Bob the sleepwalker to the safety of his bed by taking control of his subconscious guardian, “Subob”. For all intents and purposes, Subob looks like a dog. The game plays out in multi-storied isometric 3D levels where the levels start, without warning, with Bob immediately sleepwalking out of the gate. You need to quickly survey the level for steps, planks and other hazards. You then control Subob in real-time to help create an obstacle to guide Bob back to his bed. This is where a bit of platforming comes into play.
Subob’s job consists mostly of grabbing one or more huge green apples, sometimes on a wall or in other odd places, racing ahead of Bob and setting them down in Bob’s path. When Bob runs into an obstacle he pretty much hangs an immediate right. Bob can take an infinite amount of steps as long as he doesn’t fall off a ledge. This means there is no single method to success for each of these levels. Another nice design feature is that you do see a forecast of Bob’s “intended” footprints so you know where he is headed and how the obstacle you’re dropping in front of him will affect his path.
Run Subob, Run!
The controls in Back To Bed are pretty simplistic. You have zoom in / out buttons, pause, fast forward and use item. Movement of Subob in the 3D levels is done, of course, using the thumbsticks. Unfortunately, the “pause” button actually pauses the game without allowing you to scroll to research the level you’re in. Given that, there is some trial and error to get Bob back to bed as you’re somewhat under a time crunch to redirect Bob without actually seeing the entire level sometimes.
You Should Have Made That Left Turn At Albuquerque
Thankfully, if Bob happens to fall off a platform’s edge, and he will, he automatically restarts sleepwalking from where he started when the level began. It’ll bring a smile to your face when you hear Bob’s agony cry as he plummets to his demise. Each level is filled with multi-stories within the isometric level and can be filled with such things as teleporting mirrors, which sends Bob and Subob to another part of the level. There are also enemy NPCs that you need to make sure Bob doesn’t collide with otherwise it is “game over” and you need to restart the level. Once you get Bob back to his bed your reward is a lullaby. Once you play through the game’s thirty or so levels you unlock a “Nightmare Mode” which is essentially the first levels rerun with additional complexity.
Other than the quibble of no pause feature there wasn’t that much to complain about. Some sections on some of the 3D levels were confusing or seemed to play tricks on the mind. It wasn’t clear initially if a path was in the background or just ran into a wall. One run through with Subob resolved those questions pretty easily withput penalty. This really didn’t hamper the fun factor at all.
Back To Bed is available now on Nintendo’s eShop for a mere $4.99 USD. For that price, this game is a steal for what will turn into several hours of fun play!
Note: Our copy was reviewed on the Nintendo Switch with a code provided by PR.