Home Gay Gaming REVIEW: “Wrong Side of the Bed,” and waking-as-queer-horror

REVIEW: “Wrong Side of the Bed,” and waking-as-queer-horror

by Edwin Chris
A shadowy figure appears to have a melting face.

Every now and then, a game comes along that captures a moment and movement. It may not be the best or worst game,  but it is everything that is emblematic of a specific time and place and way of creation. The piece of work is so specific to the thought processes of its creator and of the times that it could only exist in that one moment. That was how I overwhelmingly felt after finishing Alz‘s “Wrong Side of the Bed.”

The monochromatic world of Wrong Side of The Bed seamlessly blends horror with everyday life, creating a mundane pastiche of dysmorphia and dysphoria. From sipping coffee to simply trying to get to your day job, everything seems ordinary at the granular and emotional level–except for the fact that you’re melting…

Melting As Melodrama

I have long argued that Ren’Py—the visual novel game maker engine designed as a low-to-the-ground entry point for new game designers—has single-handedly launched a queer revolution. More gay games are being made now than ever before, and the fact that this has been enabled by Ren’Py’s ease of use is not a slight to the queer game or to the visual novel. (Perhaps, neither of those points are surprising, given you’re reading this at The Gay Goods.)

It is, instead, an acknowledgement of the reality that many queer stories inevitably will have to tackle in order to accurately reflect queer existence. Simply put, horror has long been the refuge of the queer, as both outlet and reflection. That hasn’t changed in 2024, and in the world of Wrong Side of The Bed, a story about a young adult fighting with the failures of his body and his exhaustion with dealing with it, it is a completely relatable and understandable story to tell through the tools the engine allows.

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The figure struggles with his looks in the mirror.

Wrong Side of The Bed’s best writing comes from the mundane laid out in gross, graphic detail.

The Cost Isn’t Money

We tend to have an interest here at The Gay Goods with gay indie games because these weird, experimental things are never beholden to anyone but the creator. This is, almost certainly, another reason why gay indie games have caught on more than ever before, and another detail that Wrong Side of The Bed shares with this growing movement: the cost of this game isn’t money.

But I wouldn’t say it’s free, either. Well, okay, yes, technically it’s free, in the sense that you can get it without paying anything. But there is a cost: Wrong Side of The Bed, which is roughly 20-to-80 when comparing “Visual” to “Novel,” extracts far more horror out of the mental decline of its protagonist than it does the affliction he carries. The game’s narrative is a perverse invasion of someone’s inner thoughts, raw and unfiltered, and far more unsightly than his melting flesh.

The cost is how uncomfortable you feel witnessing his reaction to his reality, and the very real ways in which he’s not handling his situation well. Wrong Side of The Bed is a sort of anti-“It Gets Better” movement, and while it is often equal parts as surface level, it feels far more real to the actual grinding down queer people go through in their day-to-day lives in a straight world.

So, yes, to play this game, you will pay a price.

But hey! With two fairly sizable playthroughs that change the game’s narrative in considerably different ways, it’s an excellent price for a decent and interesting time,

“No Gameplay” Doesn’t Mean “No Problems”

There’s a lot of net positives to the way gay creators have weaponized indie gaming for their own voices and purposes. But the approach of free and low-to-the-ground methods of making games is not without problems, and most of those common pitfalls are evident in the game itself.

Namely, and this is ultimately the fear of most indie developers, there’s a real lack of editing. This is a greater issue on the “novel” side of this game, as many of the issues within it are the occasional but noticeable typo, or simply mealy-mouthed writing that never quite finds where it wants to go.

A tighter editing hand or dissenting voice might’ve prevented a lot of this, or, more importantly, prevented an ending that is totally and spiritually at odds with the rest of it’s story. Not a bad ending, mind you, and I won’t spoil it for you here, but the presentation of it felt forced and un-grounded in a way that did it something a disservice.

Luckily for the game and for a representation of Alz’s work, though, the journey to it was fairly fun. Fans of horror, fans of gay games, and fans of story writing that feels almost voyeuristic in its approach will find something here to really enjoy. Wrong Side of The Bed might be about the feeling of displacement, but as a work of an ambitious indie developer looking to push themselves, I think they are exactly where they need to be, and on the right track to make even bolder work. This is a concept that can and should be further iterated on, and I hope I am first in line for the next piece they pen.


  • A genuinely unnerving affliction
  • Fans of mundane horror will live for this world building and atmospheric soundtrack
  • An unflinching, unfiltered protagonist that doesn’t hold back on how he really feels
  • For being free, there’s a -lot- of writing in this…
  • …including a secret alternate path!


  • …though it isn’t terribly difficult to figure out how to get the secret even if you’re only half paying attention.
  • Enough typos to recognize that more eyeballs should’ve been employed during the editing stage
  • A, perhaps, clumsy attempt to wrap up a story that could’ve been better served more open ended

Overall: 63/100

sources: itch.io

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