Back to Bed is a 3D puzzle game set in surreal dream environments. It is the commercial version of the 2011 DAIDU student browser game with the same name. The game is about Bob, a narcoleptic who falls asleep in the office and then sleepwalks into the city. The player controls Subob, his subconscious guardian who needs to guide him safely to his bed. The environment does not represent a real city as it mixed with a dream world with a visual style that has influences of the painters Dali and Margritte along with impossible shapes and perspectives.
Bob walks on his own in a straight line and cannot be controlled by the player. When he reaches an obstacle he turns 90 degrees clockwise and he walks straight into gaps, restarting the level. Subob needs to strategically place obstacles, mainly apples, to change his direction. Parts of the environment can be used as well. Enemies such as hats, clocks or chess pieces need to be scared away, flat fishes can be used as planks over gaps, and Bob can never walk on the train tracks used by a giant whale train. Subob can only carry one item at a time and it can be dropped anywhere, except for the tile Bob is currently using. When Bob falls into a gap, the game restarts, but Subob's progress and obstacle placement is kept. Other game elements are teleporters used to reach another part of the level and lips that use wind to blow Bob to another location. A level is completed when Bob reaches his bed.
The player needs to experiment with various strategies. A line of black footsteps appears in front of Bob to show where he will be walking, incorporating collisions with obstacles, to help the player plan. There are also see-through stairs that can be used to run up walls in an impossible way. There is a fast-forward button to quickly get Bob to a position further in the level. The game consists of 30 levels, split over two environments: Rooftop Trouble and Harbour Hazards. Level are unlocked gradually. When all levels are completed, a nightmare mode is unlocked for both environments. These 30 levels have an identical level design, but introduce keys that need to be picked up to open doors, making them harder than the original ones.