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Under the Bed

by Dan Doyle III profile


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Number of Ratings: 8
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1-8 of 8

- Zape, May 25, 2020

- CMG (NYC), September 28, 2015

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Good game with one bit of confusion/poor implementation, December 16, 2013
by streever (America)
This is a well-written and fun short game, centered around an optimization puzzle with many possible outcomes.

It is well worth replaying several times, but there is one bit of poor implementation at the end--almost a bug--that could seriously derail your enjoyment and experience.

In general, the game provides such good feedback that the few wonky bits really stuck out--I had to resort to a walk-through to make sure I was on the right track, because the feedback wasn't very clear.

The main problem is one very tightly timed puzzle at the end. If you're a thorough player who tries to take all steps, you will not realize where you're messing up; the game has bundled some actions into one command, and failing to realize this will make you think that you need to do something radically different, despite a plethora of responses that show you as on the correct track.

It is a fun game and well-worth replaying, but I had to resort to a walk through because of bad luck.

I've prepared some hints for people who are getting frustrated, but have already gotten a few endings and tried many different things. These aren't good hints if you've just started the game; these are hints for people who have seen at least one if not two or three endings.

Best ending spoiler hints, from least helpful to most helpful, are below.

(Spoiler - click to show)
Your goal

(Spoiler - click to show)
You need to keep the monster in the room so you can defeat it.

But he doesn't even show up!

(Spoiler - click to show)
You can't do anything to scare him until he is in the room--the monster isn't going to walk into an obvious trap!

But he keeps escaping under the bed

(Spoiler - click to show)
Donald doesn't lie; the sheet belongs under the bed.

Sure I did that but he kills me.

(Spoiler - click to show)
You need to be on the bed when the monster arrives.

OK, so the monster comes in, he can't escape via the bed, my little brother is safe, but he still runs away!

(Spoiler - click to show)
Do you have any items that could make the closet less accessible?

No, I don't.

(Spoiler - click to show)
You're right, there is no inventory item that does that. You'll have to block the closet somehow.

How the heck can I do that?

(Spoiler - click to show)
Maybe you could push something heavy in front of it

I dunno what that would be. Come on, just TELL ME ALREADY.

(Spoiler - click to show)
THE CRIB!!!!!!!!!!!

Whoa boy! OK, 1. Monster is in the room. 2. Monster can't escape. 3. KILL IT!

(Spoiler - click to show)
Uhm I can't on account he is a monster and he eats me

Are you using your bare arms???

(Spoiler - click to show)
You need a weapon.

I don't have one.

(Spoiler - click to show)
Yes you do. Just not on you.

I'm too frustrated to think about this! TELL ME WHAT WEAPON.

(Spoiler - click to show)
THE SWORD! Danny is holding it.

Well how the heck can I get that?!?

(Spoiler - click to show)
Do you think Danny cares that he has the sword? He seems half asleep, he must just want to hold ANY thing.

I hate kids. I don't want to figure this out, tell me.

(Spoiler - click to show)
Give Danny something else first--I suggest Donald--and he'll let go of the sword.

OK! I got a weapon! but the monster is still sooooo tough :(

(Spoiler - click to show)
Monsters have ONE WEAKNESS

No they don't they are invulnerable.

(Spoiler - click to show)
Well except we know they are weak against light.

But I don't have a weapon that is like that!

(Spoiler - click to show)
Did you try upgrading your weapon? Maybe you could make your weapon take on a light quality.

No, I don't know how I'd do that.

(Spoiler - click to show)
Don't you have something that makes things GLOW in the blacklight?

Ugh... what?

(Spoiler - click to show)
The laundry detergent makes things glow in black light

AH RIGHT... but! how do I get to it?

(Spoiler - click to show)
it won't dump out. You can't empty that box.


(Spoiler - click to show)
you have to put the sword IN the laundry detergent!

YES! ROCKING! I can hurt the monster! and then he kills me :(

(Spoiler - click to show)
OK, you've done everything right! The issue is a weird timing issue. Monsters don't die from one hit, and you don't want to give them any quarter BE RUTHLESS.

Right, I tried being ruthless, and I never surrendered. BUT IT DIDN'T MATTER. Just tell me the final steps to complete the game. I've come so far!

(Spoiler - click to show)
Yes, you hit the timing issue :( You probably tried to "get off bed" or something first, right? The monster has to be hit 3 times, and you only have 3 turns in which to get it right. Basically, you have to spring your trap the moment he appears, and then just wail away on the subsequent turns.

Awesome Game!, December 9, 2013
by Sharpe (Playing Kerkerkruip, the IF Roguelike)
This review started as a question that can be read in the spoiler below and in further comments. Now that I've completed the game, I'm back to write a review. :-)

Despite being short, this game has tons of re-playability. It's basically one big puzzle, the goal of which is to slay the classic monster under the bed. The only problem is, you take the role of a child—no machine guns or proton packs! :-)

Under the Bed is well written. It makes sense. There are no sudden, unexpected deaths or frustrating quandaries that leave one wondering what the author was thinking.

On one hand, none of the non-player characters are interesting and there is next to no communication or interaction with them. However, there doesn't really need to be. It would have been cool, but the game is fun and entertaining without character interaction. Like I say, this game is distilled into a single, multifaceted puzzle. There's very little window dressing to hide that fact and that is clearly the author's intent.

There are several possible endings, but there's only one way to truly accomplish the goal: slay the monster. It can be done and I had a lot of fun figuring out how to do so. I'd recommend fans of any genre of IF give this game a try.

I gave this game four stars because it was fun and well-written. If I could have rated it 4.5 stars, I would have done so. It would easily rate five if it were fleshed out more and if a few minor glitches were fixed (glitches such as (Spoiler - click to show)the monster retreating into the closet while the player and/or the blacklight is in the closet, and being able to apply the detergent to the sword at any physical location in the game).

Great game!

—Richard Sharpe

Here is the question that I posed before writing this review (contains spoilers): (Spoiler - click to show)I found four endings but was unable to slay the monster. Is there a way to do so?

I couldn't find a use for either the sword or detergent, though I tried to leave, pour, spill, and empty it in the closet. Opening it didn't work either. Standing in the closet holding the light didn't work as the game seems to ignore that you're inside the closet when the monster enters. I took the sword, put the sheet under the bed, the detergent and blacklight in the closet, and turned on the blacklight when the monster appeared. It went in the closet and disappeared.

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Juxtaposition of light and dark, March 17, 2013
I enjoyed this game, and recommend that others play it, but with a few caveats.

The game could have done with a bit more fleshing out, particularly in terms of implemented verbs and NPC interaction. Also, the timing of the grand finale puzzle could have perhaps been slightly more forgiving. This latter issue in particular made me beat my head against a wall until I was ready to not like the game anymore, but then I took a few breaths and remembered why I had been enjoying the game up until I started not enjoying it.

So what did I enjoy? The premise was a great one, for starters. While not unique, it was the first time I remember seeing it in interactive fiction. The game also has this really fantastic blend of fairly light, childlike perspective juxtaposed with some very dark and horrific elements. Placing these two beside one another made the light lighter and dark way, way darker.

Overall, I'm glad we played it on ClubFloyd, and will seek out some of Dan Doyle's other stuff as a result.

- liz73 (Cornwall, New York), July 20, 2012

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful:
Short and simple, but not as sweet as it appears, June 24, 2012
Let me start by saying that I've been away from IF for a long while now. I don't think I've touched an IF game for at least a year. So, choosing to play Under the Bed was much like choosing to play my first IF. I picked it because it seemed short, sweet, and simple. And I'm happy to say that I don't regret the choice.

You're a child tasked with one goal and one goal only: to kill the monster hiding under your bed before it has the chance to hurt your newly arrived baby brother. It's an interesting premise with a lot of potential, and while Under the Bed doesn't quite live up to all that potential, it certainly gets a few things right.

The environment is rather under-implemented. There aren't many objects for the player to interact with, and the setting itself is limited to three sparse rooms (not counting the closets). But, given that we are presented with a single, straightforward goal and given until midnight to achieve it, an expansion on the environment may be unnecessary. It's worth noting that the time limit is more than generous, allowing you ample time to make preparations for the monster's arrival.

Now, onto the puzzle itself. Yes, there's only one, and no, it's not particularly difficult or time-consuming. Because there aren't all that many objects to interact with, the only difficulty comes not from collecting and using multiple items, but from deciding how to use the limited resources that are readily at your disposal. My actions were, for the most part, intuitive, though I admit to being a little baffled by one particular step in the preparation process: (Spoiler - click to show)how to prevent the monster from using the closet as an escape route.

I'm fairly sure that I got all the possible endings, which range from absolute failure to absolute success, with a couple of not-quite victories in the middle. While the game starts out cutesy - a little boy trying to protect his brother from what is probably an imaginary monster - its endings reveal a much darker side to the story. On one play-through, I simply waited around for time to run out, and was rewarded with a very jarring ending. While there's nothing outstanding about the writing of the room and item descriptions, the tone of that particular ending was quite gripping and left me wanting to read more of the author's work.

Another thing worth mentioning about Under the Bed is the hint system. It's integrated seamlessly into the game and comes across less like a series of hints and more like a natural part of the story. Even though it becomes apparent quite quickly, I feel obliged to put its description in a spoiler tag, if only because it was so satisfying to discover it on my own. (Spoiler - click to show)The talking duck was a nice touch, both as a way of introducing hints to the player and as a story element. I do wish that the duck's personality and dialogue options were further developed. Once the novelty of the talking stuffed animal wore off, it began to feel more like a gimmick than a character for the player to interact with. But quite frankly, it's adorable.

My biggest complaint with this game is that it just didn't seem to go deep enough. I would have liked to be able to wander through more of the house, interact with the child's parents, and maybe construct a more elaborate trap for the monster. Having more extensive conversation options with the one talking character in the game would have also been nice. As it stands, the game is very linear, has almost no NPC interaction, and won't provide more than 10-minutes worth of entertainment. But, I enjoyed the story, and it certainly reminded me why I got into interactive fiction in the first place. I'd say those 10 minutes of entertainment and the satisfying feeling of vanquishing a monster from under your bed are worth a play-through.

- E.K., May 25, 2012

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