backtobedlogoDreams Turn To Nightmares in Back to Bed

By Julie Morley

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A poor Bob who suffers from Narcolepsy which causes frequent, uncontrollable sleepiness.
A poor Bob who suffers from Narcolepsy which causes frequent, uncontrollable sleepiness.

Have you ever looked at a painting by Salvador Dali and wondered what it would be like to exist in that surrealistic world? Why are these clocks melting? This dreamy place looks so comforting and chaotic simultaneously that the emotional conflict causes your head to burst? Surrealistic art has inspired a great deal of thought about our dreams, the world around us, and why a woman’s body resembles a cello according to Man Ray.

But most of all, we’ve pondered what it would be like to exist in our dreams. Lived in them, breathed in them, and traveled through the mystic and strange landscape – what if we had no choice but to exist in this world?

In his sleepwalking state, he often explores dangerous areas like rooftops. It's up to his subconscious, Subob to control Bob's route and keep him safe.
In his sleepwalking state, he often explores dangerous areas like rooftops. It’s up to his subconscious, Subob to control Bob’s route and keep him safe.

Imagine this in a game.

Around March of last year, a very interesting project made its way to Kickstarter, asking for $12K for the final production. Meeting the $13K stretch goal, it will not only be released for PC, Mac, and iOS – now OUYA, Linux, and Android have been added to the list. That game was Back to Bed.

 

And make sure he makes it to his bed for safe sleeping. Once he's in bed, you've done your job.
And make sure he makes it to his bed for safe sleeping. Once he’s in bed, you’ve done your job.

Back to Bed was a DADIU (Danish Academy for Digital Interactive Entertainment) student development project back in 2011 with a team from various schools and universities to give the students the sense of a real development team and gaming project. The result was multiple elaborate and beautifully designed puzzles that received mass attention and applause from some big names in the gaming industry, not to mention several awards. With the great reception, it only made sense to take Back to Bed to the next level and make it a professional game.

But the challenges increase in difficulty fast, requiring players to manipulate multiple objects in a particular pattern to make sure he avoids enemies or falling to his death. Who said you can't build a bridge with a fish?
But the challenges increase in difficulty fast, requiring players to manipulate multiple objects in a particular pattern to make sure he avoids enemies or falling to his death. Who said you can’t build a bridge with a fish?

In Back to Bed, players exist in a world almost directly from a Salvador Dali painting. In this 3D puzzle game, everywhere you turn is an optical illusion or potential danger. It’s a playing field full of twists and turns (both figuratively and literally) that make each level unique, unpredictable, and challenging to say the least. Normally, in puzzle games the player has to work their way through the puzzle themselves by manipulating miscellaneous objects to clear their route or open up new area, but Back to Bed approaches the puzzle genre from a different perspective (once again, figuratively and literally).

Bob is a man with a life threatening problem. Poor Bob has narcolepsy and frequently has sleepy episodes, the cause of his Dali-esque dreamworld visitations. But his problem is greater than that. His sleepy episodes cause uncontrollable sleepwalking, usually taking him to dangerous locations like rooftops. But Bob’s subconscious, Subob, manipulates objects in Bob’s environment to control his walking path to ensure safety. We, the players, are Subob.

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The goal is to make it through the level without harm or awakening and reach the warm bed at the end.

The puzzle is to prevent Bob from falling to his death and get him to the comfort of a bed.

Apples cause Bob to turn clockwise, fish act as bridges between rooftops, and there are vicious dogs capable of awakening Bob. Players must plan out Bob’s pathway and move objects around to control his movement. If you’re not fast enough, he will fall to his death.

If it all sounds a bit curious or confusing, just wait until you play it for yourself. You’ll be able to do so very soon, August 6th in fact. Look for our full Back to Bed review soon!

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[author image=”http://cliqist.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/julie.jpg” ]Julie Morley is a freelance writer and comic artist from Spring, Texas. She attended the Academy of Art University for two years, studying Animation and Illustration. Whilst here, she learned about writing comic scripts, storyboards, and general storytelling.  Since leaving college, she has been working on personal comic projects, stories, and illustrations. She aspires to release a self published comic within two years. For the majority of her life, she has been playing console games, typically being third-person shooters and sandboxes. Her favorite game of existence is Dark Cloud II (Dark Chronicle) and her favorite Indie game is Gone Home.[/author]

Julie Morley
Julie Morley is a freelance writer and comic artist from Spring, Texas. She attended the Academy of Art University for two years, studying Animation and Illustration. Whilst here, she learned about writing comic scripts, storyboards, and general storytelling. Since leaving college, she has been working on personal comic projects, stories, and illustrations. She aspires to release a self published comic within two years. For the majority of her life, she has been playing console games, typically being third-person shooters and sandboxes. Her favorite game of existence is Dark Cloud II (Dark Chronicle) and her favorite Indie game is Gone Home.
Julie Morley