Superliminal is a first-person puzzle game from Pillow Castle Games that asks you to look at things from a new perspective, then changes all the rules about perspective on the fly and demands you adjust your thinking to fit how this new reality works.
The bulk of Superliminal’s puzzles deal with forced perspective, using your perspective on the situation to manipulate an object’s size or changing the environment in striking ways based on how your view of it changes as you move around.
Picking up objects and increasing/decreasing their size by manipulating your perspective on them never really gets old, even though it’s used quite a few times during the course of the game. This isn’t a one-trick pony game, however, and you’ll need to master a few more perspective games if you want to succeed.
At times you’ll feel like a genius, when you realize how you’re supposed to view a problem and solve a tricky puzzle in seconds. At other times you’ll feel like an idiot as you struggle with something that seems simple, and, perhaps, even like an even bigger idiot when you realize later that the solution was staring you in the face the entire time and was even more simple than you’d thought.
There’s a storyline here about perspective and understanding that your viewpoint, while it’s what you can see, isn’t always what’s happening. As a patient of Dr. Glenn Pierce, you’ll explore your subconscious within sleep therapy – or at least that’s what’s supposed to happen. In a Portal-like twist you quickly discover there’s more at play here, but – as with so much else in this game – that is, perhaps, also a matter of perception.
If you’re big on abstract thinking, Superliminal is going to give you a couple of hours of fun. If you prefer to see reality stay the way it is, this might not be for you.
What I Loved:
some inspired puzzles using forced perspective
well-written dialogue kept a story that could have fallen flat moving along
mind-bending puzzle elements you’ve never seen before
rewarding rush for figuring out tough puzzles
What I Liked:
graphic style changes as plot changes, upping the tension
didn’t overstay its welcome at about three hours long
What I Disliked:
full exploration of some of the themes could have lengthened it without padding
some ‘try random stuff until it works’ puzzles
What I Hated:
Superliminal is available now on Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, and Xbox One (version reviewed using code provided by the publisher).
Just when the battle royale genre started to feel a bit stale, with Fortnite’s constantly changing battlefield feeling more like a sideshow for the events than the main stage and Warzone being dominated by the Grau-meta, Ubisoft dropped Hyper Scape and reminded everyone that a battle royale can be fast, intense fun.
The game, available now in a limited technical test, is a free-to-play first-person shooter with incredible mobility and verticality. Teams of three drop into the sprawling map to take a shot at the title. Looting is quick and painless – as is upgrading your weapon, simply pick up another of the same type to have them fuse into a more powerful version, and movement is just so head and shoulders above every other battle royale out there that genre vets might need airsickness pills.
Viewers can interact with the game, spawning one of three randomized events ranging from ho-hum ones like infinite ammo to more game-changing ones like reveal – that shows every player’s location – or lowered gravity for massive jumps.
I’ve played only a handful of games at this point, but I can already tell I’ll be playing a whole lot more of Hyper Scape leading up to and after its release on PC and consoles.
Here’s the press release:
UBISOFT BRINGS BATTLE ROYALE TO NEW HEIGHTS WITH HYPER SCAPE™
Discover a New Fast-Paced Urban Battle Royale During the Limited-Time PC Technical Test
Montreal — July 2, 2020 — Today, Ubisoft® announced Hyper Scape™, a free-to-play fast-paced urban battle royale first-person shooter. Developed by Ubisoft Montreal, Hyper Scape takes place in the distant future of 2054, where up to 100 Contenders descend upon the virtual city of Neo-Arcadia to engage in action-packed and fast-paced matches to be crowned champion. Starting today, Hyper Scape is available in a limited-time PC technical test in many territories across North America and Europe. Interested players can try out the game during the technical test by tuning into one of the content creators currently broadcasting Hyper Scape on Twitch [Link] with Twitch Drops enabled. Access will be limited, but additional drops will be made available throughout the technical test.
Hyper Scape was designed from the ground up as an intense, vertical and fast-paced battle royale experience. Three-player squads and solo players can dive into the futuristic virtual city of Neo- Arcadia to engage in dynamic firefights, quickly transitioning from narrow streets to open rooftops and deadly interiors.
Hyper Scape introduces Hacks, abilities that players can loot in the world the same way they do weapons. Hacks grant offensive and defensive capabilities to suit all playstyles. Laying down a mine, seeking an enemy, protecting the squad with a big wall or turning invisible to sneak up on opponents are just a few examples of the Hacks players can combine and swap effortlessly. All Hacks and weapons can be upgraded through the Fusion mechanic to produce more powerful iterations of the pre-existing item.
Hyper Scape innovates and twists the battle royale formula in many ways, such as the unpredictable Decay which dissolves the map of Neo-Arcadia into different patterns, or the unique Echo mechanic that keeps players active in the battle even when they’re down. At the end of a Hyper Scape match, the climatic showdown phase starts when the Hyper Scape crown spawns on the map. Players have two different ways to claim victory, either by picking up and carrying the crown for 45 seconds or by being the last player or squad standing.
Hyper Scape is fun to play and rewarding to watch. Developed in partnership with Twitch, the Hyper Scape Crowncast Twitch extension will entertain viewers by letting them impact the game in real time, creating unprecedented interaction between streamers and their fans. Viewers will also have a real-time impact on the battle by voting on events that affect all contenders within a match, such as low gravity or infinite ammo.
“We’ve built something really unique and fresh by streamlining the experience to focus on fun and intensity. We’re really excited to let players have a try at it right away and we can’t wait to hear what they think of it,” said Graeme Jennings, Senior Producer on Hyper Scape at Ubisoft Montreal. “But this is just the start. Hyper Scape is a universe that is built to grow, and our players will see the beginnings of that even during our technical test.”
“What makes Twitch so unique is the real-time engagement between our streamers and their fans. While traditionally this kind of interaction has been about commenting on gameplay, Hyper Scape transports viewers into the game themselves, to serve as active participants,” said Sharmeen Browarek Chapp, VP of community product at Twitch. “The fact that fans can now directly impact what’s happening in the game creates an entirely new experience.We’re thrilled to partner with Ubisoft on this and cannot wait to show our communities what else we have in store for them!”
Hyper Scape will first be available through a limited-time closed technical test on PC today through July 7. The three-player squad Crown Rush mode is available now, and the limited-time Dark Haze solo mode will be available later during the test. The test will also feature a free 10-tier battle pass, and all progress and items will carry over through future live phases and into the full launch.
About Hyper Scape Hyper Scape is an urban, fast-paced, free-to-play battle royale game developed by Ubisoft Montreal. Set in the virtual city of Neo-Arcadia, up to 100 players face each other to become champion of the Hyper Scape. Bringing a fresh take on the battle royale genre, Hyper Scape is a fast-paced experience that introduces innovative gameplay mechanics such as Hacks, the Fusion, the Decay, the Showdown and many others. Through Hyper Scape Crowncast, a Twitch extension developed in partnership with Twitch, Hyper Scape offers a unique viewing experience, but also offers new tools for streamers to interact with their community. Hyper Scape is currently in a closed technical test and is scheduled to release on consoles and PC.
About Ubisoft Ubisoft is a leading creator, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment and services, with a rich portfolio of world-renowned brands, including Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, For Honor, Just Dance, Watch Dogs, Tom Clancy’s video game series including Ghost Recon, Rainbow Six and The Division. The teams throughout Ubisoft’s worldwide network of studios and business offices are committed to delivering original and memorable gaming experiences across all popular platforms, including consoles, mobile phones, tablets and PCs. For the 2019–20 fiscal year, Ubisoft generated net bookings of €1,534 million. To learn more, please visit: www.ubisoftgroup.com.
There are a lot of games out there that simulate jobs now, from simulating farm life all the way to being a professional truck driver, but none are quite as far out as Hardspace: Shipbreaker which drops you into the gravity boots of a zero-g spaceship salvage operator.
The development team dropped the first episode of their developer diary series today, along with news the game game will hit Steam Early Access, June 16th.
Here’s the press release:
HARDSPACE: SHIPBREAKER HITS STEAM EARLY ACCESS ON JUNE 16
New developer diary series goes behind the scenes of Focus Home Interactive & Blackbird Interactive’s upcoming zero-g spaceship salvaging sim
PARIS – April 21, 2020 – Blackbird Interactive and Focus Home Interactive have announced that the first-person zero-g spaceship salvaging sim Hardspace: Shipbreaker will enter Steam Early Access on June 16. To celebrate, the team today released the first episode in a new developer diary series diving into the making of this very unique game.
This first episode introduces you to Hardspace: Shipbreaker’s gameplay and universe, where you’ll use cutting-edge tech to carve up massive vessels in outer space to recover valuable loot for the corporation you’re indebted to. Cut up ships however you choose, slicing panels, fuel lines, hull infrastructure and more — with each choice, Hardspace: Shipbreaker responds dynamically to your actions, creating new potentially explosive physics objects to manage.
Although best known as the studio behind Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak and the upcoming Homeworld 3, developer Blackbird Interactive was inspired by the real history of skyscraper construction and rig workers to create a sandbox game with a blue collar atmosphere and true-to-life physics. Blackbird’s recent collaboration with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory on Project Eagle, an interactive demo of how a future Mars base might operate, further fueled the drive to deliver a creative demolition sim that feels playful yet complex and lived in. Hardspace: Shipbreaker will arrive in early access with a variety of exciting features, including the first act of the story campaign, two classes of spaceship to chop up, and multiple upgradeable tools and perks. Throughout early access, the team will release new ships, missions, challenges, leaderboards, modding support and more based on feedback from the community.
You can wishlist Hardspace: Shipbreaker now on Steam. The game is also in development for PlayStation®4 and Xbox One.
There are probably people out there who have had worse times on Mars than Shane Newehart –Schwarzenegger in Total Recall or Matt Damon in The Martian for example – but by the end of Moons of Madness you’ll have to admit his experience ranks right up there.
Newehart is an engineer for Orochi, a space exploration company that needed his expertise on their Mars research outpost. What the poor sap doesn’t know going into this trip is that the outpost is a front for a program to find the source of a message coming from the planet.
At the outset, Newehart’s job eases players into both the game’s controls and the outpost’s layout as he goes about his day to day work. Replacing batteries and doing on the spot repairs isn’t glamorous or even necessarily fun, but it does a great job of introducing the player to the world and cementing the atmosphere.
And, of course, it soon goes downhill – way downhill.
The game’s environment is, as you’d expect from a research outpost, clinical and sterile at first but soon gives way to a truly Lovecraftian mess of tentacles and weird ooze, and it’s at this point that your early busywork pays dividends. Even though the environment is much more hostile, knowing the layout really helps when you’re – for example – fleeing from danger, should that sort of thing happen…
Don’t get the wrong idea here though, this is not a combat-heavy game and it owes more to walking sims than it does something like Doom Eternal. There are moments here and there where you’ll be tested, but most of the game is exploring, puzzling your way through obstacles, and trying to piece together the underlying story.
Moons of Madness is a bit short, running around six hours to complete, but if you love exploring you can run it up a bit more than that just playing around with the wealth of interactive objects. A personal favourite – the coffee machine that allows you to fill and drink as many cups as you’d like. This isn’t a truly scary game as the atmosphere is intense, but the enemies aren’t threatening enough, though there are some terror-filled chases that help keep the adrenaline flowing.
Journey to the Savage Planet is a smaller game – running about 6-7 hours if you don’t do a lot of exploring, but expanding out over the 10 hour mark if you like to wander and goof around – but it’s packed with more than enough content to make it worth the price of admission.
As one of the new members of the Kindred Aerospace (the 4th best interstellar exploration company) Pioneer Program, you’re dropped unceremoniously onto a new planet with the goal of exploring it to see if it’s suitable as humanity’s new home.
With the budget having been spent on getting you there, unfortunately you’ve got little in the way of equipment to explore and no fuel to get back, but with the help of a 3D printer and a plucky computer assistant I’m sure you’ll be fine. As bad as the initial planning was, it goes off the rails even more when you land on an ‘uninhabited’ world that’s clearly been inhabited at some point – and perhaps still is…
Journey to the Savage Planet is a lot of fun, with a clearly comedic bent that’s probably not for everyone, but if you’re a fan of Monty Python you’ll probably ‘get’ this too. The videos from home are hilariously weird, and exploring the planet, unlocking and upgrading your equipment as you go, is a blast. While it’s not the longest game out there, at under $34 Canadian, you can do a lot worse for your money.
What I loved:
great progression system
snappy writing that hits the comedic mark more often than it misses
wonderfully weird world and creatures
long enough to feel worth it, but doesn’t overstay its welcome
What I didn’t like:
commercials that play in the rover repeat quickly
would have loved to see even more progression options
Here’s the opening 10 minutes of the game:
Journey to the Savage Planet is available January 28th on PC, PS4, and Xbox One. Game reviewed on Xbox One X using code provided by the publisher.
The timing is a bit late but the intent is good as Rock Pocket Games, developers of Moons of Madness, have announced a delay to the PS4 and Xbox One release from January 21st to March 24th in order to optimize the game for consoles.
The game hit PC on October 22nd, to mixed reviews, but the atmospheric setting and strong narrative has my interest piqued. If they can use the delay to iron out some of the issues reviews noted, all the better.
Here’s the press release:
The Moons of Madness Console Launch is Moving to March 24th, 2020
Rock Pocket Games to add final polish to the console edition of Moons of Madness
OSLO, Norway – January 14th, 2020 – The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One release of Moons of Madness, originally scheduled for January 21st, has been postponed till March 24th. The delay will give the developers more time to optimize the game for console. Moons of Madness is a first-person cosmic horror game mixing Mars exploration with Lovecraft. It was released on PC on October 22nd, 2019.
About Rock Pocket Games
Rock Pocket Games is an independent game development studio situated in Tønsberg, Norway. Rock Pocket started up developing mobile games back in 2008, and have since then grown to an award winning studio behind both mobile, PC and console titles. Rock Pocket hold quality, communication, passion and fun in high regards and strongly believe that this is their strength when creating great products everyone involved can be proud of.
Amnesia: Collection gives Switch gamers all three Amnesia games for a super low price, bringing a trio of horror titles – an area the Switch is currently underserved in – to Nintendo’s console TODAY.
I’m not a super big horror gamer, but I love the atmosphere of these titles. If you’re into horror games at all, be sure to check these out.
Here’s the press release:
Helsingborg, Sweden – September 12, 2019 — As sudden as a monster appearing behind you –Amnesia: Collection is now out on Nintendo Switch! The Gatherers, Suitors and Manpigs now fit in your pocket, so you can bring the horror with you wherever you go. The Collection includes Amnesia: The Dark Descent, its expansion Amnesia: Justine, as well as Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs developed by The Chinese Room. Amnesia: The Dark Descent is a horror icon that revolutionized the genre and helped kick-start the Let’s Play phenomenon. The story takes you deep into a decaying castle, plagued by unimaginable horrors – as well as your own memories you would rather forget. Justine tells an unforgiving story of altruism and egoism, deciding between life and death. You can save everyone, but be careful: one wrong move, and it’s your life that’s on the line. A Machine for Pigs takes you to the last hours of 1899 – last hours before the century of war, technology and revolution. Under the streets of London a hellish machine is waking up: a machine for pigs, the creation of madness and grief, set to change the world as it is. Amnesia: Collection is fully optimized to play on Nintendo Switch, in both handheld and TV mode. The game is available starting September 12th, priced at 29.99 USD.