Much as I love Ludomotion’s real-time roguelike Unexplored, I’m acutely aware that a lot of people bounced off it because it’s a lot to process all at once. Enter BOILINGHOT, a SUPERHOT-inspired mod by “YellowAfterlife” which might just help the less twitchy amongst us. As with the stylish first-person shooter, time moves at a crawl – ten percent of normal – but speeds up to the game’s usual frantic pace when you’re swinging a weapon or moving. Below, a trailer for the mod, plus some thoughts on the nature of slowdown in games as a system and accessibility aid.
For the most part, BOILINGHOT works really well. While I think that it should speed up a little bit while turning around, it really does let you pull off tricks that would otherwise be too difficult. For experienced players, it’ll look a bit like the video below, with the player dancing around a swarm of angry dungeon-bees, dodging them like Neo in a hail of bullets. For less twitchy players, it should still look pretty dang cool, as you get a few precious seconds to plan out most moves. Understandably, BOILINGHOT disables the game’s online scoreboards, but makes no other changes.
The developer of BOILINGHOT cites Heat Signature as an inspiration, and there are plenty of other games that either massage the game’s time-scale automatically or let players adjust it. Many of the best arcade shmups intentionally slow down when there’s above a certain number of bullets on screen, giving players just that tiny bit longer to react. The excellent twitch platformer Celeste lets players slow things down, and brutal mech n’ tank shooter Brigador lets players adjust the speed too, if you’ve trouble keeping up with the massive, swirling swarms of enemy units. It’s a feature I’d love to see more games implement.