Superliminal is a bizarre, and clever puzzle game which is very similar to Portal in that these puzzles require some lateral thinking… and even then, I was sometimes completely bamboozled.
For example, one room in the first of nine levels has a tiny block of cheese and an exit that’s high up in the wall, meaning you have to hold the cheese up high, then drop and let it fall towards you… perceptively, it will get bigger, and will do so in real life, so to speak. Keep doing this until it’s as big as it can get, and then when you rotate it, you can use it as a ramp to exit the room.
But… even then it’s too small to get out the door that’s high up in the wall, so bring it further away from the wall, until it just LOOKS like you might be able to jump from it, and go through the door, even though in reality you couldn’t. Got it? Good. Yes, it makes no sense, but perception is the key, so it will make sense eventually.
Anyhoo, I made a full set of gameplay videos, so you can enjoy those, below.
While each level took me a little while to complete – because I wanted to explore as much as possible, I did go back and redo them for the gameplay so I wasn’t faffing about so much. At first, I noted that I can’t ‘redo’ achievements and there are little things here and there like letting a can drop to the floor and then it goes off – crediting you for this the first time you do it, setting off a lot of fire alarms, and so on. I’ll come to back to this shortly…
There is a premise for Superliminal which is very engaging – you’re trapped in a dream, of sorts, regularly being talked to by a Dr Glenn Pierce, who I thought was voiced by Gordon Kennedy (Channel 4’s Absolutely, and all the UK broadcasts of Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares USA) but it’s not him. Plus, levels 3, 7 and 8 I did in one go without too much confusion, there’s cool different loading screens in between levels – some of which I’ve included in my gameplay, and the red carpet in the hallway of level 2 feels like a callback to The Shining.
Finally, I ended up – inadvertently – playing this game FOUR times. I don’t normally plan on doing that, but while the first time round was to figure out how things worked, the second playthrough was with the intent to use as gameplay online, but… I didn’t realise you could reset the achievements, hence when I pulled fire alarms etc, they were still already pulled second time round.
Third time, I knackered the sound as I left my microphone on my headset open, so you heard the faint echo of the TV in the background, and then the fourth was fine… and even on that fourth time round, I still spotted one or two new things!
Note that the first time I played the game, it must’ve taken around 5-6 hours, but each time after that was around 1.5 to 2 hours, since I knew where I was going.
- Developer: Pillow Castle
- Publisher: Pillow Castle
- Players: Single player campaign
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.