SUPERHOT is a first person puzzle shooter with simple graphics, a type of time travel mechanic, and a cryptic storyline. The player plays a character that’s playing a cracked video game from a friend on an old, 80’s-90’s computer. The player experiences the menu and between-level narrative in this computer, which simulates the bubble of a CRT and the constrained ASCII character interface (don’t worry, you can use your mouse). Narrative advance occurs primarily via the computer interface via a chat program that runs in the background. Each conversation begets a few more levels of the actual game, due to the need for more cracks and updates for the in game “game.”
Once inside a level, time moves only when the player moves, allowing the player to dodge bullets and plan out the level to a degree. Other than that, the game plays like a normal first person shooter, with this new time controlling element adding an inventive puzzle solving aspect. The goal is to kill all of the simple red polygon enemies in the level. After successfully completing the level, the player will see their playthrough in real time, without the slowdowns of time, with the words “SUPER” “HOT” repeated on the screen and out loud until the player “releases control.” If the player’s character dies, they can press R for a quick respawn. Deaths don’t appear to be penalized, making it nice to iteratively improve upon a level, if necessary.
What would make someone want to play this game?
People who like first person shooters, especially fast-paced ones, puzzle games, and cryptic storylines will appreciate this game. The overlays during gameplay are in your face and over the top for possibly a few reasons that I won’t try to explain. The world is immersive.
This game is twisted and I like it. The fact that I can take my time with each level and then switch to a fast pace is nice and the game generally feels rewarding. I especially like the immersive, yet ascetic narrative that only tells as much as is necessary in between the fun gameplay. It plays up the meta “you’re just running around shooting red people” maybe a little too much, leading to a sort of very loud hanging of the lampshade (though as I research TVTropes, it‘s may be more appropriately termed “No Plot, No Problem!”). I’m going to finish this game --- whatever that means.