Critical Play – Superliminal

In Superliminal, the puzzles are the game. Superliminal is a game about questioning the nature of reality, of perspective, and of deciding what to accept as truth in the world around you. Players control a character with largely unexplored backstory. The lore of the game is spent mostly on explaining the player’s circumstance as a patient testing a dream technology who’s become stuck in the dream, rather than fleshing out an forced backstory. The player navigates this dream space by moving around the gamespace (typically just one room at a time) and (mostly) picking up items. Doing so will change the actual size of the item to fit the scale the camera views it at (only possible because of perspective transformations, but I’m a graphics nerd and also have 2 eyes so that’s especially salient to me), allowing the player to place the item at a different scale to solve a puzzle. An example of this would be moving closer to a block of cheese to make it look huge, then dropping it in a way that makes it seem like it would fall farther, thus increasing its size and giving the player a ramp.

Superliminal has an impressively large number of puzzles like these (and some not entirely like these), and uses them to provide obstacles for the player in their dream world and to force the player to look at things from many different perspectives.

9/10, good sense of perspective

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