Superhot Review – Superfun & Supershort

There aren’t many occasions when I get to review a game that I played the Prototype build of, but Superhot is one of those exceptions. Having seen it in a “Top 5 Unity Engine Games” video, Superhot stood out as one of the most memorable gaming experiences I had of 2013.

In screenplay and novel writing, there are stories that don’t feature remarkable characters, plots, or dialogue, but have amazing premises. Jurassic Park, Ready Player One, Chuck, and many other various works. Superhot is an equivalent to this in-terms of a game concept. A first-person action puzzler where time only progresses when you move. It’s a concept that is immediately compelling just upon hearing it.

The game’s prototype exploded on social media and lets-players because – just like Fez, Portal, and Slender– it compressed well. Its mechanics were not only compelling, but could be instantly understood upon playing it. This allowed a ten minute early prototype build to blow people away.


“The game continues to utilize its brilliant concept, and despite a few shortcomings, this game had me glued to the screen in ways I haven’t been engaged in since last year’s GOTY contenders.”

Since then, Superhot’s been in development with a lot more polish, style, and focus on compatibility with Virtual Reality devices like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Interestingly enough, it’s not the only way the game brings up VR…

While the game has certainly evolved since that prototype build, and none of the original levels have made their way into the final product, Superhot is still Superhot. The game continues to utilize its brilliant concept, and despite a few shortcomings, this game had me glued to the screen in ways I haven’t been engaged in since last year’s GOTY contenders.

Immediately, Superhot doesn’t feel like any other game on the market. The main menu is not a polished selection screen of the modes and settings, it’s a recreation of old-school DOS programs, with you talking to someone over private chat about a game their recommending, a game called Superhot.

SUPERHOT screen 4

Forth-wall breaks are prevalent and once you dig deeper into the story, it begins to make sense. I do need to tip-toe around the story, but I will say that it’s like being a character in a Phillip K. Dick novel, and that’s high praise. The same sense of paranoia, unease, and sinister behind the scenes activity is felt here, and the game does an excellent job of luring you into its world. The fact that the game relies so much on its unique concept is actually a part of the story used to its advantage, and it’s a brilliant usage of the medium. This story may not be Shakespeare, but it did make me think; I always wanted to know what would happen next, and it frequently entered territory I didn’t expect.

Sadly, Superhot’s biggest flaw is revealed far too quickly, and that’s the duration. The story’s conclusion is seen within less than two hours of playtime. That’s… short. Even for an Indie game, that’s really, really short. To be fair, the storyline retains more impact because of its duration, it feels like the right amount of time to tell this tale, but it still feels like a disappointment. There’s so much they could add to this. They could’ve made three campaigns, with each of them featuring their own unique plot.

Thankfully, Superhot doesn’t fully end there. The developers include multiple challenges, mutations, and tweaks that can be applied. There’s even a setting that brings back the rule set and graphic style of the game’s prototype build. There’s also variations on the endless mode, where you fight off enemies ‘till your death.

SUPERHOT screen 1

As for criticisms, there aren’t very many. All I can think of besides the obvious, is that the elevator level is isn’t enjoyable – you’ll know what I mean when you see it – hit registration isn’t perfect, and the randomly generated weapons carried by enemies can sometimes turn an easy level into an unfair fight due to a dice roll. All of these are nit-picks and don’t hurt the game in any significant way.

What hurts Superhot is the lack of content. I’d rather be left wanting more instead of becoming burned out like Alien: Isolation, but it’s hard not to feel there could’ve been more. I wish I could demand that you rush out and buy this game with a perfect rating, but I can’t, and it’s mostly due to this reason.

But I will say that it’s absolutely a game you need to play, and while the lack of content is a shame, it’s still a game that I will be replaying and showing to friends long after I’ve seen the credits roll. No matter what genre of games interest you, Superhot is one you’ve got to play.

***A PC review code was provided by the publisher***

The Good

  • Brilliant Concept
  • Unique Graphical Style
  • Compelling Narrative
  • Addicting Gameplay

The Bad

  • Short Campaign Duration
  • One or Two Gimmicky Levels