Superliminal's timed exclusive period on the Epic Games Store is now up, and it has released on Steam along with Linux support with a port from Ethan Lee. Note: key provided by EvolvePR.
This perspective puzzle game from Pillow Castle is something of a mind-melting trip through a dream world, where you're able to change the size of objects depending on how you're looking at them while holding them. Bring objects closer and they can shrink, do the same from afar and they can grow huge. It gets a little weird but it's such a fantastic idea and it has been a lot of fun to play through.
While playing Superliminal there's been quite a few times my eyes didn't quite understand what they saw at first, where I let out some audible confused noises. The design of it is simply fantastic to make you question what you're seeing and where you're going. My brain tripped up on the puzzles plenty of times, as did my eyes. There's lots of ways Pillow Castle cleverly used simple environments to trick you, thanks to the perspective feature and they get to be playful with reality here due to the setting. It's not just a case of making objects the right size, it's also about understanding your surroundings and being able to think very differently.
There's times you walk up to a door and it's not actually a door, or a wall that's actually another corridor. I couldn't help but laugh and smile while playing it as it tries to trick you and make you rub your eyes and have take a second look at something amusing.
So not only are you playing with bending the rules of reality and changing the size of various objects, the environment is also playing with your sense of depth too and the result is most of the time pretty great. Lots of what you see just sort-of jumps out at you before you've fully realised something isn't entirely right. You also need to study your environment often, since here perception is reality and you will need to look around and match parts of the environment to be able to then interact with certain needed objects.
Check out the trailer below:
It's definitely got some difficulty in certain areas, which will largely depend on your own depth perception and your ability to analyse your surroundings. Due to the game mechanics, you don't have to be overly specific in how you solve a number of the puzzles, especially the size and movement puzzles as you just need to get from A to B while toying with whatever the environment wants you to use.
So many great little touches too, from the doctor speaking to you via little recordings which were somewhat amusing to the loading screens "glitching" in many different ways.
With the Linux port, it's built with Unity and it uses the Vulkan API by default. Performance has been perfection, although some Linux desktops might see input lag due to an issue with Unity. If that happens for you, try this as a launch option:
There's also "-force-opengl" available if you really need it but that may cause some graphical issues with z-fighting.
Apart from that, it's been wonderful.
The Steam release comes with these extra features (on top of Linux/macOS support being new):
- Remote Play Optimized - Play the game streamed to your TV using Steam Link.
- Steam Achievements - Achievements that launched alongside the console versions in July are now fully integrated with Steam’s Achievement system.
- Steam Workshop [beta] - The devs are working on some very experimental features for Steam Workshop. More details will be revealed "soon!".
On top of that, the latest release adds in a Challenge Mode and Developer Commentary.
I don't think I've had as much fun in a puzzle game since the likes of the Portal series, The Talos Principle and Baba is You. It gave me that same kind of feeling that I just wanted to play around with it all more and more as time went on. Absolutely worth picking up.