God I love Games Done Quick. The biannual speedrunning charity event is like a video game holy week for me. I watch everything. It’s on when I work, when I’m eating (if I eat at all), it’s on when I sleep. I am always watching, which actually sounds kinda sinister. The 3D puzzle platformer block was on last night featuring standard speedrun fare Portal and Portal 2 along with my personal favorite The Talos Principle. But one game stood out and quickly became my new favorite: Superliminal.
Superliminal from Pillow Castle Games is a game in which your perception of an object changes its size. You manipulate objects to make them bigger or smaller and use them to complete simple physics puzzles while progressing through a nondescript building as a computer-generated voice delivers dry humor, akin to GLaDOS in Portal or the narrator in The Stanley Parable. Describing how Superliminal works doesn’t do justice to how downright freaky it is to see this game in action.
I love how casual Crisper is during his run here. His low-key, “we’re just vibin’” energy melds well with the sheer mind-bending madness of what he’s doing on screen, creating high comedy. How can you be so chill about this? That apple you picked up just transformed to fill up the room and I’m pretty sure that wetness coming out of my ears are bits of melted brain.
I’ve never seen a game play with perception quite like this before, putting a very unique spin on the “silent protagonist uses physics puzzles to escape” genre. Superliminal looks short—the speedrun is only 20 minutes long—though in part because the run features copious amounts of out-of-bounds skips, which are always cool to see. Superliminal is definitely going on my steadily growing list of Games To Try Out When SGDQ Is Over.