Like a dream that just won’t stop repeating, Pillow Castle’s peculiar perspective puzzler Superliminal hasn’t quite left my mind since I first saw an early prototype back in 2014. Today, five years later, Superliminal has found its way to store shelves, bringing its fascinating concept to the public.
Here’s the deal: however large an object looks relative to the environment while you’re holding it is how large it’ll be when set down. Pick up a pencil and look to the far wall, and it’ll grow to rival even the pride of Keswick. That’s forced perspective, that is.
Confused? A quick gander at this trailer should help you get up to speed with Superliminal’s spatial nonsense.
You’ve woken up in the realm of Dr Glenn Pierce, professional dream doctor and amateur David Tennant impersonator. Stuck in a well-kept hotel, not quite sure if you’re awake, there’s puzzling to be done. Superliminal features a peculiar, if surprisingly rigid, set of rules that nonetheless let you wreak havoc with the physical properties of every last lamp, chair, door or otherwise.
It’s framed as therapeutic by the game’s narrative, but I’m not sure how supersizing a chair sets much of anything straight. As you explore this well-kept dreamscape, a British intellectual and a robotic voice engage in a tug-of-war match over whether this gets to be a Portal 2 or The Stanley Parable. Given those influences, I can only see myself being stunned by Superliminal’s story if it manages to resist pulling off a shocking twist.
So it does look a little derivative. It also looks well neat, and the core concept – shifting the scale and properties of objects based on perspective – has been lodged in the back of my head ever since I first caught sight of Superliminal back in 2014. Sin will be giving us her full verdict on the site later this week.
Superliminal is out now on the Epic Games Store for £14/$20.