Superliminal (PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC)

You are participating in the SomnaSculpt Dream Therapy Program.  It involves lucid dreams where you can control what happens and perception can become reality.  But something feels like it’s gone wrong and you’re stuck in the dream and can’t seem to wake up.  Solve first person perspective puzzles where anything can happen and rules are made to be broken.  Anything goes in this downloadable game for all current consoles and PC (reviewed on PS4 here).

You view the game from a first person perspective.  You can jump and pick up and put down certain objects.  The icon will change to a hand, letting you know what you can pick up.  While holding an object, you can rotate it, too.  And that’s the basic gist of what you can do.  The game plays with perspective and distance to solve puzzles.  For instance, you can pick up a tiny building block and place it far away from you.  But as you walk toward the block, perspective won’t change so by the time you get to the block, it may be giant!  You’ll use this basic rule to solve puzzles in the game.

You’ll travel through mostly posh hotel lobbies and hallways, juxtaposed with sub-basement locations.  Some examples of puzzles you’ll solve include trying to get to a high door, and you see a small plate of cheese on a table.  Pick up a wedge of cheese and place it far away from you to make it bigger.  Do this enough times to make a ramp with the slice of cheese so you can reach the high door.  Other times you must position yourself so paintings on the wall will look like an item, and then you’ll be able to pick it up and use it!  There are many more puzzles with crazy rules for you to solve as well.

Really the only problem I had with the game is that because the puzzles are so out there and what works in one puzzle may not in another, it kept the game from feeling intuitive.  That may be part of the game, but it was no less annoying and I oftentimes had to refer to an online guide.  Superliminal is also short, about as long as the first Portal game.  But that may also be a good thing because it kept the game from overstaying its welcome.

Speaking of which, the gameplay is comparable to Portal.  In fact, when I was first playing either Portal 1 or 2, my brother Jeff showed me a demo of a game that I think ended up being Superliminal!  I can’t believe it took that long to make!  Superliminal isn’t as charming as Portal, but if you enjoyed the puzzles in that game, you may want to check out this one as well.

Kid Factor:

Superliminal is rated E for Everyone with an ESRB descriptor of Mild Blood.  In one of the levels, the hallways and doors are stained with red handprints and bloody smears for some reason.  I definitely wouldn’t call that ‘mild,’ but the ‘blood’ also looks like strawberry jam to me in the game as well.  The game isn’t scary, but because of the weird nature of the puzzles, some kids may find it unsettling.  It kind of reminds me of how some kids love funhouse mirrors and others are terrified of them.  Younger kids may need help with the tougher puzzles as well.

One Response to “Superliminal (PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC)”

  1. I’ve only had lucid dreams once or twice in my life. Some people are really good at it though. Weird stuff.

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