Parents' Guide to


By David Chapman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Escaping this lucid dream means thinking outside the box.

Superliminal Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

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We all get lost in our own thoughts from time to time, but it's another thing entirely to be trapped in them. That's the premise behind the first-person puzzler, Superliminal, a game where all the rules you think you know get tossed out the window. It forces players to look at everything from a new perspective, literally. Size, shape, and everything else is all based around perspective. Picking up an object in your foreground and dropping it into the background keeps its size relative to how you saw it when you first picked it up. As a result, a small sliver of cheese suddenly becomes a massive ramp. Or maybe a model house on a table becomes big enough to walk through. Superliminal is one of the most surreal mindbending experiences in gaming.

While things start off a bit on the trippy side, things at least make some kind of sense in the early stages. But as the game progresses, things are more confusing, and the solutions get more obscure. It's possible to find yourself trapped in one area for a substantial amount of time, frustrated by a lack of direction and no clue what you're supposed to be looking for. And then, right when you're at the end of your rope, you end up falling down an invisible hole that you never knew was there to being with. In fact, the biggest fault with Superliminal is that it just assumes you'll sort things out if left to your own devices, which would be fine if you had some sort of hint you were at least moving in the right direction. Even when you're doing everything right, the game has this nasty habit of making you question if you're actually on the right path. As the dreamscape begins to collapse in later scenes, scenes repeat or shift suddenly without explanation, or you fall into an abyss while making a mad dash for a door that apparently was never really there to start with. Eventually, moving forward feels more like a matter of dumb luck than observational skills, taking some of the sense of accomplishment out of the game's sails.

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