Original game holds up after six years

Released in 2016, SUPERHOT still captivates staffer

Original game holds up after six years

SUPERHOT is a time-bending masterpiece of a first person shooter. 

The core mechanic of the entire game is built around the concept of “time moves when you move”. You’ll be thrown into a low-poly world where you have to take out oncoming enemies before they have a chance to take you out.

Each level provides a unique challenge to overcome with only how you move and any available objects that can be used as makeshift weapons. Along with the urban styled design of the levels and overall structure of the game, SUPERHOT has managed to create an interesting combination of a game that you could speed through with pure muscle memory or think through each step of how to reach the end of the level.

All in all, SUPERHOT is a marvel of ingenuity and game design.

— Ben Holland

The overall gameplay loop consists of loading into a level, some text flashing on screen telling you what to do, and then running to the nearest object to smash over the head of an enemy. Your character also only has one health so if you get hit by a single bullet or a random punch then you have to restart from the beginning of the level. While having to restart from the beginning in most other games can be infuriating, SUPERHOT’s levels are just the right length to where it’s more of the game saying ‘try something new so you don’t get shot’.

On top of the excellent game design, the art styling has a really unique and interesting look to it. Since SUPERHOT was developed by an indie team and didn’t have a huge budget to put towards insanely realistic graphics or lighting, and honestly, the game does better with it’s simplistic styling. The main three colors that you’ll be seeing are white, black, and red. With the first levels defining that white means environment or something neutral, red means an enemy, and black means it’s something for the player, whether that be their hands or a shotgun.

The origins of SUPERHOT can be found in the 2013 7 Day FPS Game Jam, where contestants were challenged to make a complete first person shooter prototype in only a week. In that time, the SUPERHOT Team created an innovative experience in which time around you only moved once the player moved. Since then, SUPERHOT proper was released in February 2016 onto Microsoft Windows, OS X, and Linux, later being added to the Xbox One, Playstation 4, and Nintendo Switch.

Along with the original screen-based SUPERHOT, a VR exclusive version of the game was released on December 5, 2016. The VR exclusive version featured many of the same levels as the screen-based version, but with the player going a different way through the level. 

All in all, SUPERHOT is a marvel of ingenuity and game design. It’s managed to create a captivating experience that makes you want to come back for more. Overall, a really solid game with some neat ideas that are really interesting to engage with. I’m giving SUPERHOT a 9/10 though as it can be a bit frustrating at times without much direct guidance.

Rated T for teen