Superliminal review: perception is reality

Take any kind of rational approach, make us a nice package and pull it out of the window: Superliminal, the new puzzle-game available on Switch, is ready to overturn your logical mindset, find out with us in this review

After the landing in November of last year su PC, PS4 e Xbox One, the boys of Pillow Castle propose again Superliminal, their experimental and very unique debut puzzle game, with a port on Nintendo Switch.

The new creature of the US team, on the hybrid of the house in Kyoto, behaves all things considered fine. Every so often, however, as we will see in the next few lines, he does i moods. However, even in this new incarnation, the puzzle di Pillow Castle it maintains its very marked identity, all flashes surreal and visions labyrinthine

Prepare now to abandon all coherent ambitions, logic and reasonable and let us guide you into the abyss of inverted perception. Continue reading the review of the new puzzle-game Superliminal.

I only need one hand to hold the Tower of Pisa!

The story of Superliminal is a parable of experimentation and refinement. The title comes from the combined effort of suns six creatives led by Albert Shih (the co-founder of Pillow Castle), one student of Carnegie Mellon University of Pennsylvania.

The first playable version of Superliminal dates back to the times of college, when Shih, with a view to preparing a elaborate for a programming course, he created in 2013 an interactive virtual experience based on the simple handling di cubi in a generic empty space. 

The idea behind the concept game ignited in Shih when the latter began to study the concept of forced illusory perspective. To get an idea, profanely speaking, all it takes is a look at any trivial penalty photo taken by tourists on duty traveling to Pisa. In the photos, theperspective illusion seems to suggest that the outstretched arms of the tourists hold the Leaning Tower par excellence.

Shih, aided by other former university colleagues, hinged a whole on this assumption videogame concept. Thus it was that the title saw the light in 2019. Let's proceed now with the review and let's discover the elements of the narrative plot of Superliminal.

Do I dream or am I awake? - Superliminal review

Superliminal stands on a frame narrative rather essential. Yours avatar videogame (of which you know absolutely nothing) is watching one advertisement of a clinic specialized in therapy of the sonno. The purpose of the supervised rehabilitation program of the institute's head physician, Dr. Glenn Pierceis helping patients to overcome some of their problems psychological.

Many of these peat have to do with how subjects perceive the reality and the small, large ones challenges of daily life. The physician's therapy approach essentially aims to help patients a scale back, from the point of view psychological, the extent of the various problems with which they are afflicted.

So for example, an apparently insurmountable obstacle can turn out to be an opportunity for growth with the right mental approach (keep this last example in mind as it will continually be used as a metaphor in the game). 

Your avatar does falls asleep at 3 in the morning looking at it spot. When he regains consciousness he is inside the Somnasculpt program. It is a rehabilitation path based on experience dreamlike. Your character will then have to explore the surreal reality of its own dream and try to figure it out, aided by the words of the Dr. Pierce that come to him, from time to time, from a strange radio. 

Despite of essentiality basic, the narrative component it works and does his duty in a game in which, inevitably, the plot it is clearly not relevant for the purposes of general experience.

The dry script's only function is to act as a context carryings-on that happen in Superliminal: we are in a dream so everything is possible. In this sense, the narrative premise conceived by the creatives of Pillow Castle it is perfectly adequate

Nothing is real, everything is lawful - Superliminal Review

In Superliminal you will find yourself, systematically, swooping in rooms, passages and hallways with often dissimilar features, united by a single characteristic: dead ends. Or so it will seem to theappearance. It will be up to you to try to find one way out

We understand that the world of Superliminal is the result of a dream, Well. This simple assumption is enough to make it possible, on the level of gameplaypractically everything.

In fact, just lift any object you happen to be within range by holding down the "A"Of yours Switch, and drop it to discover something simply surprising. The dimensions of the object are change. If you position yourself in another point of the environments (thus changing your point of view) and grasp the same again object the dimensions of the same change again. In other words your perception shapes reality. Using this concept to your advantage, you will be able to solve the various puzzles proposed by the title. 

Mind you: to find the keystone of the individual puzzle you won't have to rely on common logic but to that of game. This is evident from the first enigma that the game puts you. In a room where the only exit is a door positioned at the top of the wall you will find three cubi with various numbers and letters on the faces.

Instinctively, you might think about combining the faces of the cubes in various ways depending on the various symbols, hoping that maybe this magically unlocks a secret exit or something similar. Wrong! The only way out of the room is to use the distorted perception, resize the cubes and stack them on top of each other to use them as stairs.

All in one breath - Superliminal Review

Basically, the game is all in what we have told you so far. Nothing more and nothing less. The heart of experience is theinteraction with the game world and what makes it up. Read this way, the experience of Superliminal It may seem gaunt e limited but to the reality of the facts (and of the gameplay) the creation of Pillow Castle it works, and also good.

The essential elements we have mentioned are exploited masterfully by developers and the logic of puzzles is taken to the extreme for surprise e disorient player.

The progression, in terms of complexity of the puzzles, in principle, is convincing. The difficulty curve of the various puzzles rises by drawing one parable, while leaving room for some smudges in the second half of the route. 

The puzzles created by the young Seattle software house give addiction and will immediately capture you, dragging you into a trip hallucinogenic-videogame to play in one breath. The mechanism works very well because every puzzle is different on the other hand and there isn't may repetitiveness or cloying.

Pillow Castle has even managed to embed a few little ones in the puzzles easter egg taken from very popular animated series or from technological catchphrases that have become meme, embellishing the general experience and making it sophisticated in its simplicity

As for longevity, don't expect a version of The Witcher 3 puzzle. The title can be completed within a few hours. The overall duration is based exclusively on the aforementioned difficulty of the puzzles.

Each situation must be carefully studied to be resolved and this will take you some time. If not, for one run completa a little more than an hour. Furthermore, the only incentive to the replayability it consists solely and exclusively in trying to obtain the various trophies expected. A bit' little to push us to get back to the title.

A videogame Truman Show - Superliminal Review

Pillow Castle also check the technical sector. You will certainly not feast your eyes on four walls and two cubes but, on the whole, there jacket wearing Superliminal è convincing. The game uses the graphics engine Unity and it clearly does not aim for surrender fotorealistica. However, everything results as a whole pleasant.

The textures are discrete and the use of shine è good. The latter are also used for recreational purposes and always manage to give i right tones to the general experience. Pillow Castle has immersed its creation in a pleasant, artful atmosphere Truman Show.

The choice was spot on musical. Very often, right from the start screen, your dream wanderings will go in time with classical music. The note del piano they will accompany you almost constantly succeeding, together with the aforementioned management of shine, to create an atmosphere sophisticated and, in some situations, discreetly exciting.

The traces will suggest a Moods different to tackle each of the infusing puzzles vitality, rhythm and variety to an experience that otherwise would risk, too easily, plunging into a gloomy one flatness.

Since we're on the subject of music here's a jarring out of tune. On Switch the experience is validates from the point of view of the gameplay (it is relaxing to indulge in puzzles while lying on the bed or in the cool of the courtyard) e disappointing as regards theoptimization.

The title, as mentioned, doesn't seem particularly greedy for computing power, yet, on the hybrid Nintendo, are frequent and conspicuous i cali of framerate and lo stuttering especially with the joy-cons detached from the console, in portable mode.

A little Portal, a little Inception

Net of some smudges in the management of difficulties general, of the longevity and optimization, Superliminal is a good title. The game has a powerful message uplifting and metaphorical to be communicated.

That message is transformed into reality in phase of gameplay: a problem, apparently huge, it may seem like one nonsense when viewed from a different point of view, like a object which changes size according to the distance that separates us from it.

Referencing milestones of the genre such as Portal, and introducing you to a dimension of Inception, the game of Pillow Castle it also makes itself known on Switch. Superliminal it is a gem surreal e atypical. The title is recommended for those hungry for puzzles and to those looking for something relaxing and pleasantly sophisticated

We thank you for reading this review and we invite you to stay tuned to techigames for all the updates and curiosities from the world of gaming and beyond.

7.3 A fun videogame kaleidoscope

Points in favor

  • Fun, varied and original
  • Puzzles are addicting
  • Well implemented metaphorical message

Points against

  • Low longevity
  • Disappointing optimization
  • Difficulty curve not always convincing
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