Back to Bed is an artsy real-time puzzle game set in the surreal 3-D dreamworld of sleepwalking protagonist, Bob. Bob’s office job is so boring he can’t help but fall asleep, dropping into a treacherous surreal city. Players must take control of Bob’s subconscious, Subob, to run ahead of the somnambulist and place giant apples in his path to ensure that he does not drop off the edge of his dreamscape and makes it safely to his bed. Children who are becoming acquainted with surrealist painters will take particular delight in the game’s design, which calls to mind the works of Salvador Dali, René Magritte, and MC Escher. Though cartoonish and benign, the game embodies an intense noir aesthetic that may be disturbing to younger children, making it more suitable for kids 8-years-old and up.
Being efficient and aware of our use of time and effort.
The full weight of responsibility for Bob's safety is placed on the player, and to get Bob back to bed, timing is everything. Bob walks in a straight line on the tiled floor until faced with an obstacle, in which case he makes makes a single right turn and keeps walking. As Subob, players must run ahead, picking up and carrying giant apples to place in Bob's way to prevent him from dropping off into oblivion. Bob's pace is quick but even, so players are given a limited but predictable amount of time to act before the sleepwalker steps off the edge. At times the closest apple is relatively far away from the starting point, or players are only provided with one apple even though it is needed in more than one place, making it necessary to quickly assess the perils of a level and set priorities as the snoozing Bob steadily shuffles toward his fate.
Recalling and retaining information in our mind while working.
Players must be Bob’s eyes as he sleepwalks blindly, and predicting his movements and knowing where obstacles and edges are ahead of time is absolutely necessary in order to guide him along. Especially as levels progress, there is a lot to keep in mind in order to successfully get Bob to drop back into bed and not off the edge of the map. Knowing Bob’s trajectory so you can take your eyes off of him for a second or two to retrieve an apple is just the beginning. Bob’s sleep city consists of chimneys that cause him to turn to the right, portals that take him across the map, illusionary stairs, bridges of neckties and fish, air vents, smoke stacks, and more designed to advance or obstruct Bob’s progress. Remembering how these structures help and hinder and understanding how they will affect Bob’s path through a particular map put players’ working memory to the test.
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