Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5
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It’s the look of Back to Bed that will draw you in initially. Inspired by the likes of Salvador Dali and M.C. Escher, the game is a delight to look at. It’s quirky, a little bit odd, and matches the tone of a strange dream world perfectly. Unfortunately, while Back to Bed has the looks, it lacks the qualities that make for a particularly special game.
You play Bob’s subconscious guardian name Subob. He looks a lot like a dog with a human face, and it’s his job to keep Bob safe while he’s sleeping. Bob has the habit of falling off platforms in his dreams but, on the plus side, he always goes back to his original starting position afterwards. Subob is able to manipulate Bob by placing objects such as giant apples in his path, causing him to go elsewhere.
There are rules, of course. Namely, any time Bob runs into something he starts moving clockwise afterwards. You also have to place an object a couple of steps before Bob gets there, otherwise you can’t do it. It’s the groundworks of an interesting game but Back to Bed doesn’t really evolve much further than that. Offering 30 levels and an unlockable nightmare mode, it doesn’t actually take that long to complete either, as once you understand the basic concept it’s pretty logical.
At times the perspective can confuse despite looking so cool, but there’s never any peril. At the start of each level you’re fine to leave Bob walking to his doom while you figure out a better path to send him down. There’s no reward for completing a level quickly or efficiently, meaning there’s little reason to replay Back to Bed. That’s also handy as the grid-based controls aren’t the quickest by any means, slowing down your route substantially.
It’s a lovely concept and its art style alone will draw some folks in, but Back to Bed isn’t quite as special as it would like to be.