When it comes to Superliminal, the definition behind the terminology is ‘to be above consciousness or the threshold of consciousness’. Within the Inception-Esque world of puzzle title Superliminal, you’re taking on the realm of your dreams. Being set in the year 1991, you are a character within a dream study program. However, when things go south and you begin to progress further in your dreams, you and the head of the study concoct a gameplan to finally escape. I was gracious to receive a code from Pillow Castle (Developer/Publisher) to review this title.
In terms of the visuals, Superliminal has beautiful landscapes and backdrops. It was many times during this dream puzzle title that I caught myself awestruck of the level design. Also, the puzzle layouts from the visual and illusion based effects were extremely cool to see, tons of eye-popping effects and awesome features came from those designs.
However, the graphics lacked in some of the backdrops, and of the items up close didn’t look as great as they should’ve been. While I found myself in awe of what was in front of me, a few times I noticed that the details lacked in few areas. The more I traversed through the game and puzzles the more I noticed that it wasn’t always stunning or catching my attention.
The graphics get a 7.5
The gameplay of Superliminal is where all the fun is to be had. This game has you solving puzzles in the form of illusions and placing them into reality. Uniquely putting your brain to use on crazy ways to solve them. One example of a puzzle had me playing with enlarging and shrinking a house to progress. The catch for that puzzle, in particular, was depending on which size you made the house is how you progressed to the exit. Being too large made you too small to get to the area. Being too big also shrunk the exit.
The creativity in Superliminal with how the puzzles truly made you think outside the box was truly an experience. Every second of thought, resetting the puzzle, double-checking my answers had me excited to play the next one. I loved every minute.
The gameplay gets a 10/10
The audio of Superliminal was quite boring. The lack of a musical score didn’t help, and then If something did play. It was only in a particular room or moment to “cause” a feeling. It was dull. Also, the voice acting between the AI program and the Doctor misses the mark they intend to go for by miles. Both the score and voice acting could’ve been way better.
The audio gets a 5.
The story of Superliminal borrows the process of Inception. Where you’re taking things on in your dreams, but the more you take things on, the further you progress from actually waking up. During the story, I was reminded that I was constantly going deeper and deeper into the craziness of my dreams. As your character goes further. The doctor who puts you into the dream therapy has to combine his and your efforts to get you out. Being the doctor has been the only one who’s gotten close to this point before.
Although the story had a unique build-up, the latter half falls quite flat on the final moments of the game. As they turn your deep-diving puzzle-solving into something quite underwhelming for everything you had to solve. I was quite disappointed in the last half as it turned this into something else it shouldn’t have gone to.
The story gets a 6.5
Superliminal comes with an interesting premise about dreams. Deep diving on what our psyche feels during our sleep while combining solving some crazily unique puzzles. While that’s an insane combination to even think about at first. If it wasn’t for the puzzles, Superliminal wouldn’t have much redeeming itself for it outside of some beautiful graphics and a halfway interesting story. I enjoyed my time and playthrough of Superliminal, but it left me wanting more. Feeling as if it wanted to be more of Portal in terms of storytelling. It’s an experience for sure, but I can only recommend Superliminal fully if you’re desperately craving a puzzle game to solve at this moment.