Tag Archives: Puzzle

Review: Superliminal

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:

  • nothing

Superliminal is available now on Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, and Xbox One (version reviewed using code provided by the publisher).

Review: Radical Rabbit Stew

Based off the frankly 100% off the wall bonkers pre-release trailer for the game I had expected Radical Rabbit Stew to be an action game, but it’s really more of an action-puzzle combination that runs the gamut from simple ‘smash and bash’ action all the way to ‘now if I hit THIS then it’ll go THERE and THAT will…’ puzzling out the scene before you make your first move.

Here’s the premise – and get ready because it’s a doozy. A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away there was a diner, home to the famous Space Chefs. One day the Rabbit Queen, tired of her tasteless vegetables and jealous of the much-vaunted fame and skill of the Space Chefs, had them kidnapped by her rabbit minions and now you – as the cleaning boy that somehow avoided capture – must free them.


So, you hop to it – sorry, that’s the only rabbit joke I’ll allow here – and head out in search of your coworkers, taking on stage after stage of increasingly complicated action. The game does a great job of teaching you to walk before expecting you to run, introducing concepts at a sensible pace – or at least as sensible as a game where you whack rabbits into cooking pots can get.

At first, you’ll simply have to line up the rabbits and give them a smack and they’ll sail away from you in a straight line and into the pot that’s conveniently sitting there. Then it gets harder, you’ll have to hit them into a bounce pad that fires them at a right angle and into the pot. Soon you’re double and triple bouncing them, using upgraded cooking spoons, a grappling hook/hand, avoiding (or deflecting) bombs and employing different attacks to achieve different ends.

This early puzzle is actually very simple if you don’t overthink it
and just embrace the sweet, sweet feeling of smacking rabbits.

Eventually, you need to worry about luring them with carrots, feeding them to make them fat and lazy, and then there are the boss battles…

I know, right? Boss battles in a puzzle game? Don’t worry, they’re super weird too! A personal favourite is where you battle a Pug in a bunny outfit, smashing his toy trains as he tries to run you over with them.

The best part?

His name is Pugs Bunny.

What I Loved:

  • This story is top-tier 16-bit era stuff
  • Great boss battles
  • Tons of skill/equipment advancement
  • Throwback graphics hit the spot
  • Pugs Bunny

What I Liked:

  • Versus mode for up to 4 players in same-screen play
  • Create mode to expand the game on your own

What I Disliked:

  • Challenge level ramped up too quickly for the kids

What I Hated:

  • Nothing

The Final Word:
Radical Rabbit Stew is the finest action-puzzler I’ve ever played, but it’s also the only one so that’s maybe less impressive than I wanted it to sound… Great for short pick up and play sessions, but entirely capable of keeping your attention for hours if you want.

Canadian game 'A Fold Apart' Hits Apple Arcade, Switch, and PC April 17th

Guelph, Ontario’s Lightning Rod Games is bringing their new paper-folding puzzle game A Fold Apart to Apple Arcade, the Nintendo Switch, and Steam next week.
Launching April 17th, the game depicts a couple’s long-distance relationships and the struggles to get – and stay – on the same page despite the distance.
Here’s the press release:

‘A Fold Apart’ is Launching April 17

A poignant story about a long-distance relationship, love, and the technology that connects us all.

Ontario, Canada – April 9, 2020 – Lightning Rod Games announced today that their paper-folding puzzle game A Fold Apart will release next week, April 17, 2020 on Apple Arcade for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Apple TV, and Mac alongside Nintendo Switch and Windows via Steam.
An interactive, narrative-driven puzzle displaying the emotional ups and downs of a couple’s long-distance relationship, A Fold Apart offers a beautiful acknowledgment of both the challenges and wonder that come from how we communicate with loved ones while living apart. The launch trailer reveals a familiar yet unique gameplay mechanic — flipping and folding paper — to bring the couple closer together over the course of their everyday lives.
“When we first started developing A Fold Apart in 2015, my goal was to tell a touching story about the romantic, sentimental, but fundamentally lonely feelings that my significant other and I experienced while living apart,” explains Lightning Rod Games Co-founder Mark Laframboise.
“We never would have imagined that we’d be releasing the game in an environment where nearly all of us around the world are physically separated from loved ones and experiencing that loneliness firsthand. Whether you are self-isolating, distance learning, telecommuting, or keeping in touch online, we are all in one form of long-distance relationship or another. Creating A Fold Apart was a way for me to navigate those difficult emotions and I hope that the game can help others find some hope and comfort (and, most importantly, fun!) in these challenging times as well.”
A Fold Apart features over fifty handcrafted paper-folding puzzles — in fact, the very first versions of these puzzles were made with simple grid paper and stored in a binder — in a colourful, tactile paper aesthetic. Choose which couple to play as, and unfold both sides of their story as they navigate the complexities of (mis)communication and the emotional rollercoaster that separation brings.
In a world of folding paper, there are two sides to every story. Discover yours on April 17.