In today’s post, I review some puzzle games which twisted my brain into a smoothie and made me look over a walkthrough. At least 75% of them. Without any further delay, let us start!
I just want to say, this game is like a nice dinner date where you know you had a great time, but you also aren’t quite sure how or when the hell you got home. This is the way I want to explain the perspective puzzles in this game. Superliminal is a masterpiece in gaming thanks to its amazing gameplay and level design. The gameplay is weird to explain. You take a small object, put it somewhere, and then from that perspective, it changes size and distance. The game has a total of nine chapters, each with a new gameplay loop.
For example, in chapter six when you click on an object, it will duplicate itself with a slight difference in size. Another example is a scene that when looked at in a specific way, creates a new object. The game also does a great job of utilizing the color theory, which becomes an even more crucial part in chapter eight because you can enter an entirely new area just by following a color path. After saving this much I think it’s easy to say that Superliminal is one of, if not the most, innovative puzzle game ever.
The soundtrack of the game is just your classic LOFI chill music to vibe to, but it becomes denser in chapter eight. It feels strange and soothing at the same time. Artwork is another major part of the game. Since visuals and perspectives are such a crucial key to solve a puzzle, it has to be clear and distinguishable. According to the directors’ commentary provided in-game, the graphical designer had a tough time while working things out since every person had an equally important role in the game development. There isn’t any major story plot in the game, it is just you having a fever dream being narrated by a fictional figure Dr. Glenn Pierce.
The voice acting is fantastic and surreal. It attaches to the game world. At some points, the game feels like a horror game due to blood on the floor on some levels, suspicious placement of objects, and sudden closing of doors. The clever emptiness of music only pumps up the vibes. The game also has a variety of collectibles, but good luck finding them all without the help of walkthroughs. My only problem with the game is that it’s short but hey, at least there is a map editor and steam workshop support! The game is just a message to the player to overlook negativity and search for solutions in life by looking from a new perspective. Superliminal is a must-play if you adore puzzle games or a portal franchise fan
The Pedestrian is another unique concept. It was in development since 2013. The gameplay centers around the player controlling a pedestrian guy from, basically any signboard with only one motive, to go further. The player can switch between 2 modes. In one, you control the pedestrian man, and in the second, you arrange the provided signboards and connect them so that you can clear the level as the pedestrian. As a child, I had always dreamt of things like this. So walking a man inside a signboard and seeing a game about it really brings back my inner child.
The OST, just like superliminal, is very chill and soothing. Graphics are phenomenal for an indie title and maybe that is why it was a major highlight in Sony’s State of Play 2020. The puzzle blending with the atmosphere is very cozy. The game is short but will probably take you an hour or two. If you have a small brain like me, possibly 5 hours. I don’t wanna spoil the ending but I just wanna say that it will be worth the journey even if you don’t understand it. As a whole, this game makes for a really nice game night and I highly recommend it.
Since valve cannot count to three, some fans of the portal franchise did it themselves. Portal Reloaded includes a third portal, which allows players to time travel. So now you have to examine a level from all-time perspectives which means there are now more interactive objects and the past affects your present. With 25 unique levels, each with more than 1 solution and with over 100 custom narrative lines depending on your action, this gameplay is longer than the first portal which is really neat for a fan-made mod. It takes the basic portal framework and expands on it.
Some soundtracks are variations of one other but there is still a large variety of really awesome music tones from just a single person. The story is similar to the one in any portal game, you wake up from a long slumber and greeted by an AI who attests your skills through a variety of chambers and at the end tries to kill you but you manage to escape.
The ending to Portal Reloaded leads to an open forest with head crab zombies from Half-Life 2. The game really fits in the original Portal and Half-Life timeline so we are just waiting for Valve to hire the mod creator and make it canon. Portal Reloaded is an extremely hard game and needs critical thinking skills and you will find yourself stuck with an urgent need to watch a walkthrough, however, completing a chamber on your own provides a sense of accomplishment. So try it! Overall, if you own Portal 2, then there is no reason to not play this game. It is just more Portal and possibly the best fan project ever!
IN MY SHADOWS
In my Shadow is a newly released 2D-3D hybrid puzzle platformer with an emotional story about a depressed girl going through childhood trauma. The gameplay revolves around the player arranging objects in a room so that the shadow of the object can create platforms that will help the shadow of a little girl named Bella cross a room. You can also pet dogs! There are a total of 50 creativity-engaging levels spread across four sections of a house or as many people believe, four walls of one room. This sole concept sold me on trying out the game. Now I will say the levels are creative, however, I would not call them hard. It’s like mobile-level puzzle game difficulty (I spoke with the dev and he said the game was made with mobile in mind but decided to release it on PC first).
If you are here for the story you will get a good one. There aren’t many soundtracks. There is just one that plays on a loop. Now the art in the game is good and charming, but the character models are questionable. They lack extra details and textures that might make them more lively.
(Editors Note: This could actually be an artistic decision. The story is an emotional one and the game is meant to be an experience. So creating a lively character to express a story about childhood trauma wouldn’t have fit the experience that the developer wanted to convey.)
Animation is acceptable even if it can be really janky in the cutscenes. The dev did say there will be an overhaul in models and animation but we’ll see. Another thing I like is how they allow you to select levels. There this big house which just opens with four divisions and you can click on one of them and play all the levels it has to offer. Overall a decent experience made by a first-time dev, which I would highly highly recommend when it releases on mobile platforms.
Oh wait, you can pet the dog!
Thanks for reading and stay safe