Available on PC, iOS
We played on PC

When you tuck your children in at night, you probably don’t worry about them getting eaten by shadow monsters while you’re in the living room getting in some midnight gaming hours. But rest assured, when the lights go out, that’s all that occupies their minds. Go to Bed: Survive the Night plays on those childhood fears. Every bump in the night and every errant shadow are bad guys coming to get you.

Your recourse? Click ‘em and they vanish. So click like hell, friends.

Originally released as a mobile game, Go to Bed: Survive the Night was recently released for PC. It’s transformed from a tap-fest to a click-storm in that time, and now comes with a challenge mode. It does a couple of neat things with its new format, too. One enemy, for example, fades from view as your cursor hovers over it.

The only things standing between the boy and some dark business, besides the trusty click, are a few weapons. The lamp, when turned on, will freeze all enemies on the screen, letting you click them at a little more leisurely pace. A toll from the clock will destroy all enemies on the screen. (Why these two weren’t switched, thematically, is beyond me.) There are a couple of more things you can buy, like a toy chest that explodes with fun, or a teddy bear that makes you a little harder to kill, but they’re temporary. They only last for a single round (or hour, in the narrative framing of the game, since you’re trying to make it to dawn).

Go to Bed isn’t really scary, but it is frantic. What seems initially simple grows in complexity as you progress through the game. The single, spindly hands are soon replaced by wolves that take multiple clicks to dispatch, ghosts that split into more of themselves when they die, and little toothy monsters that always come in groups. Seeing a new enemy, especially among a group of more familiar ones, always came with a moment of doubt. How dangerous is this one? Should I prioritize it now or click when it’s closer? Managing click-time, I suppose, is your central task in Go to Bed.

The audio and visuals match in a nice way, though why the theme appears to be “old-timey silent film” is beyond me. The art style was a bit problematic for me. While illustrating a game in shades of black and white make sense for a game about light and shadow, it made it difficult, sometimes, to parse all the information on the screen. The spiders, little grey guys that function as currency, were almost invisible on one of the levels. This effect got worse during periods of obscuration, when branches or darkness would crowd the screen. I never felt like this challenged me in a way that I could really answer or prepare for. I would just lose because I couldn’t see what was background and what was enemy.

Most damningly, though, the story mode has no way to save progress. My first playthrough, which ended as I was overwhelmed by shadow things, was erased when I closed the game, even after going to the menu. The game, it seems, must be completed in one sitting—which seems like a glaring error for a casual game to make.

Ultimately, Go to Bed sits on a nice foundation of gameplay and style, but just underneath—hiding in the crack between bed and floor, maybe—lurks something spooky. Well, not spooky, exactly. Troublesome, though. That’s for sure.

This article was written by

Roy Graham is a writer, boxer and live action roleplayer based in Brooklyn. He’s interested in emergent narrative, monster love stories and wizardry