Source: Review Copy
Price: £15.49 (Soundtrack £5.79)
Where To Get It: Steam
Perspective is a very funny thing. It can trick us. It can aid us, although not always in time. Looking at it differently allows us to change, or to empathise with others. But it can also damn us if we don’t change it.
How does that bear on a puzzle game in which you seem to be trapped in an Augmented Reality meant to be for your therapy? Well… Everything. Because fighting through the nightmare you find yourself in requires you to look at things a different way. Here, let me illustrate.
Take the nearest cuboid object to you that you can lift easily. For me, it’s one of my vape juice containers. Hold it up at arms length in front of you. Looks okay, right? Now hold it in between your eyes, and, as expected, it looks bigger. Hold it end first, and, as expected, it looks longer.
So far, so expected, right? Well, the thing about Superliminal is that changing the perception of an object’s size changes its size. You have to pick something up to do it, but essentially, every puzzle is about perspective, be it looking at things from a certain angle to turn them into objects, picking something up and holding it in such a way it appears bigger to make it bigger, or smaller, understanding how perspective can trick us into thinking there’s no hole in a shadowy room, even if the room’s well lit…
Perspective. And the way the story progresses is also about perspective. Although I really can’t explain how, or why it’s connected to feelings of hopelessness, imposter syndrome, depression, anxiety… Without getting into massive spoiler territory. Hell, just saying that has spoiled something for a fair few people.
But I like it, even if some puzzles are infuriating. Apples. Ohhhh, apples have been the bane of my existence at least once. You will scream when you get one in particular. Please don’t throw things. You probably need those things you want to throw. Deep breaths… Deeeeep breaths.
In any case, even though it’s a somewhat short game if you know exactly what to do, it all comes together pretty neatly in the end with an “Ah” moment (probably combined with a “You bastard” moment), its puzzles, while sometimes infuriating, are clever, and, for puzzle fans, this one comes recommended.
But that’s just my perspective. Maybe you’ll see it. Maybe you’ll have to shift your head around a bit to see it. Maybe you never will.
The Mad Welshman has to see a hero(ine)’s perspective. How else can he craft his easily escaped deathtraps so they find it easy to escape?