"Super. Hot. Super. Hot. Super. Hot."
You'll be hearing those words a lot if you try out Superhot -- or SUPERHOT as the developer prefers to stylize it. You can do just that right here.
If you need a little more convincing than a single paragraph, however, here's the gist.
Superhot is a first-person shooter. "Oh no," you might think. "Not another one." But hold on a second. Superhot isn't just any first-person shooter. No, it's a game that makes use of time-bending mechanics somewhat similar to those seen in -- of all things -- Jonathan Blow's arty platformer Braid.
Specifically, Superhot is a first-person shooter in which time only moves when you do. Actually, that's not entirely accurate -- when you're standing still, enemies and the bullets they fire move extremely slowly rather than remaining completely static, but it's slow enough to give you time to determine what to do next.
This relatively simple mechanic makes a huge difference to the way you play the game. Rather than frantically rushing from cover to cover and acting on instinct, in Superhot you can take your time to consider what to do next. It gives the game a curious sense of being almost turn-based in nature, with the action only becoming fast-paced if you actually let it. In practice, it's more effective to move in short bursts, pausing to glance around, survey your surroundings and perhaps take your time to line up the perfect shot on a distant enemy. Combine the time-manipulating mechanic with the severely limited ammunition on each level, and the game becomes more of a puzzle than a shooter.
Superhot is a perfect example of the sort of creativity that comes out of the 7 Day FPS event, as you'll know if you read our article on the subject a few weeks back. The project was a series of firsts for the team involved: their first Unity project; their first time working together as a group; and even the first team project for the youngest of the group involved.
The current demo you can play at the link above is not the finished project; rather, it's more a "proof of concept" that also acts as something of a prologue to what will presumably become the finished game. There's a lot of potential for interesting puzzle design if the team keeps building up the complexity -- at present, the prototype is an interesting curio, but at no point is it particularly challenging or complex. It is, however, one of the most interesting twists on first-person shooting I think I've ever seen, and as such I'll be keeping a close eye on future developments.
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