There’s something to be said about a biting simple game mechanic being executed well. Some of my favorite games to play focus on one mechanic and hammer every piece of the surrounding experience to fit that mechanic. The indie gaming space is starting to really drive this point home in ways that larger developers and studios might be afraid to explore.
My new current obsession is ‘SuperHot’ a plot-less first person shooter which asks of you only a small understanding before throwing you into kill or be killed situations. See you have something of a super powered advantage over your enemies. Time slows to a crawl when you remain still, and speeds back up as you move. It’s like a heightened adrenaline backed perception of time. Like when people describe being in a car accident, their brains slow time down, yet the whole experience happened in the blink of an eye. SuperHot captures this dynamic beautifully.
As you move through maps, picking off generic red assailants, you have the advantage of taking a breath to line up your next shot, dodge an incoming projectile, plan your next move. Don’t think this means the game is easy however, as sometimes that caution will inadvertently line you up for a kill which will only happen once you start moving again.
SuperHot’s graphics are super simple, which I dig. It’s all about focus. You have to know instantly what you’re trying to accomplish. The game’s tone plays into this. Instructions are near non-existent. Objectives are delivered by flashing single words on the screen at a time. It quickly creates that “rat in a lab” feel I haven’t experienced since firing up the original Portal. That unknown quality. You’re doing something you have to do, yet you have almost no understanding as to why you have to. At once unsettling and darkly satisfying.
SuperHot was created during a 7 Day FPS challenge, and the developers have set up a Steam Greenlight Page to explore any interest in making a larger version of the game. In the meantime head over to SuperHot.com to give it a whirl for free!