Genre: Adventure, Puzzle
Developer: Pillow Castle
Publisher: Pillow Castle
Release Date: 07 Jul , 2020
Superliminal is a puzzle game where you are stuck in a dream and your sense of perspective and reality is changed: objects are just as big as they look to you, which means that getting near to an object and then picking it up makes it bigger. It also means that you can pick up objects that seem to be very distant, but are in reality just very small. In gameplay terms, this creates very interesting situations where you have to understand how the perspective works on these objects.
You can read Psygineer’s original review of Superliminal here, so here we’ll focus more on the Nintendo Switch porting of the game.
A Short Dream
Let’s start by saying that this Superliminal’s version for the Nintendo Switch suffers from the very same problems of the original game, namely a noticeable lack of content that results in the game being rather short, with no real replayability value. Puzzles are fun but, once you get the hang of it, they can be solved quite quickly with no real difficulty. Thus, after an initial tutorial phase, the difficulty curve goes up, but not enough to provide a challenge, especially in the “late” game sections.
While new puzzle elements get added as the player progresses, all different stages get lost in the pile, as there are no levels that really stand out from the mass. This doesn’t mean that the various puzzles are bad, far from it, but that there are no outstanding ideas in their implementation. Unfortunately, the Switch version of the game doesn’t add any new piece of content, which would’ve surely been appreciated.
Superliminal mechanics do not require anything except for a pad to be fully utilized: this means that no special features of the Nintendo Switch are used. In addition to that, the console hardware (in handheld mode) and a non-top-of-the-line optimization result in frequent framerate drops, even in tight corridors and without any real reason. Picking up objects, entering new rooms and even walking can result in the game having noticeable drops that really break the immersion.
In docked mode the frame drops disappear and make space to an aliasing that gets all over the place and ruins the game’s environments: a real shame, considering the rather simple graphics of the game.
Is Superliminal for the Switch the best version of the game? No. But is it still worth the money? Well, kind of: do you have a more powerful platform where you can play it? If yes, then buy it there: the game doesn’t use the features of the Nintendo Switch anyway. If no, I’d suggest you to wait for a discount, as the game performance problems and, above all, its lack of content, make the game not reach the SAVE territory.