Another little indie masterpiece has finally made its way to Steam. Superliminal, developed by Pillow Castle Games, is a seriously fun experience. A lot like Portal, Superliminal tasks the player with solving room after room of puzzles while the story is told to you through various disembodied voices. However, the core gameplay and style of the game really set it apart from anything else.
Superliminal introduces the idea of perspective as its core mechanic. By moving an item and changing your perspective of it, you can change its size. Much like Portal’s signature Portals, the player uses their perspective to solve the majority of the game’s puzzles. It’s a bit difficult to wrap your head around how exactly it works, but once you get there, everything seems to make much more sense.
Superliminal will use your perspective throughout the game to really mess with you as well. With objects coming out of the walls, holes hidden by shadows and everything hiding in plain sight, the game will always keep you guessing. You’ve always got to stay on your toes and a new way to look at the situation.
Pillow Castle have really made some headscratchers here. Superliminal present situations that can get frustrating. Especially when you’re trying to figure out which items are interactable and which aren’t. But once it clicks, it becomes so satisfying. Finding the exact way to look at the puzzle makes the solution seem so simple, but not obvious. The solution really rewards you, rather than making you feel stupid for not seeing it.
The whole game is pretty short and only took me an afternoon to beat. And being a puzzle game, there’s not a whole lot of replayability. But what is there is fun and satisfying.
Superliminal’s story is a little bit underwhelming. The game doesn’t really introduce any characters or plot points really worth caring about and the resolution is a little bit of a letdown. However, it does get the job done and doesn’t detract from the enjoyment of the puzzles.
Playing with Expectations
If I had to describe the puzzles of Superliminal, I’d have to say expectations. The core mechanic of the game is built on the expectation the player has about how objects should work in this world. Superliminal shatters that expectation and presents a new way to look at its puzzles.
Once you get an idea of the way the game works, you begin to make expectations about what the game will throw at you next. And of course, these expectations are shattered as well. Pillow Castle keep finding new and different ways to use the mechanics in ways you never expect.
Superliminal is a nice short indie game that is unlike anything else you’ll ever play. While the story is lacking, the puzzles are fun, the core mechanic is fascinating and your expectations will be broken many times.
Superliminal is available on PS4, Xbox One, Switch and PC.
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