Honorable Mention #2: Superliminal
This one missed out on a Top 5 spot as it was just slightly eked out by some of the other games.
It just doesn’t have a lot in the way of replay value once you’ve done just about everything and while I certainly enjoyed my time a ton, the other games on this list just had more to keep me engaged.
However – it’s extremely deserving of a place. I absolutely loved this game – and the wizardry behind the way the puzzles play with perspective is nothing short of amazing.
The only other place I’ve seen it (At this level, anyway) was in this game’s own original tech demo – The Museum of Simulation Technology.
One of my favorite little “tricks” has always been forced perspective – when it’s done well, it can be really effective. From a person pretending to hold up the Leaning Tower of Pisa in a photo to making Gandalf and other humans look like they tower above the Hobbits.
Other games have played with it here and there – but it’s usually just the trick of lining up an image properly (Like those paintings that can only be viewed properly from a very specific angle/point of view). Never anything that plays with scale/spatial position like this.
Pick up a block that’s the size of an apple and hold it towards the sky – it becomes the size of a small building when you let it go. It’s incredible.
The game itself is a lot like Portal or The Stanley Parable – especially in the tone of the writing. Also like those games, it’s not lengthy – only clocking in at about 3-ish hours for an average “I want to look around” kind of playthrough. Maybe a bit longer if you have difficulty with the puzzles.
It doesn’t overstay its welcome, though I do wish it did a little more with some of the puzzles. A lot of them are very simple, with a lot of the difficulty simply stemming from the mechanic of getting your brain to understand perspective better.
Still, I loved my time with Superliminal. Almost as much as I loved my time with The Museum of Simulation Technology. The story was great (And kind of hit a little close to home towards the end), the gameplay was extremely unique and engaging, and it’s just long enough to play through the whole thing in a single sitting if you just want something quick to relax with.