If you’ve played Superliminal, you’ll know that it’s important to expect the unexpected. This first-person puzzle game from Pillow Castle Games came out in 2019 and it’s full of optical illusions, intriguing challenges, and forced perspectives.
Superliminal is quite a unique game. If you’re on the hunt for another game that replicates the story and gameplay, though, you’ll be happy to know that there are a handful of games similar to Superliminal that are worth checking out.
Here are 10 games like Superliminal to pick up and play today.
Outer Wilds is a single-player action-adventure game that Mobius Digital made in 2019. It’s incredibly popular, with multiple publications listing it as one of the best games of 2019, and with good reason.
You play as an unnamed character that goes on their first solo flight in space. You soon find out that there is a time loop that you end up in while exploring a solar system. It takes 22 minutes for the loop to reset, which is when a supernova happens. The loop can also be reset if you die.
The game gets you to focus mainly on discovering why the loop exists. You’ll also learn about an extinct race called the Nomai, who colonized the solar system many moons ago.
Almost as soon as you start the game, all areas in its world will be accessible. However, you’ll need to solve certain logic puzzles to access some areas. The only way to solve the puzzles is to speak to other explorers and learn more about the Nomai.
To survive in Outer Wilds, you’ll need to have sufficient oxygen, health, and fuel. You can replenish these stats by finding refills and trees or returning to your spaceship.
Outer Wilds is available for Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. It’s a great pick for fans of games like Superliminal who want to play one of the most unique games set in space.
The Witness is a challenging video game that contains more than 500 puzzles.It came out in 2016 and you can play it on Windows, macOS, iOS, PlayStation 4, Nvidia Shield, and Xbox One.
The lead designer behind this puzzle game is Jonathan Blow, who was previously known for his work on a platformer called Braid. The team that created The Witness needed to make their own game engine to turn their idea into a working game.
The story is set on a strange island. You control a character who wakes up on the island alone and doesn’t remember how they got there or who they are. You’ll need to explore the area around you in hopes of regaining your memory.
There are multiple regions that make up the island. When you solve the puzzles of a specific region, you’ll be able to activate turrets housed in yellow boxes. Once activated, the turrets will shine a beam of light to signalize you’ve completed the challenges in that region.
Although players need to solve most of the puzzles in The Witness, there are some optional challenges you can take on. When Jonathan started development on the game, he wanted to create something that was truly challenging for players. The end result is a game that takes the average player around 80 hours to complete.
Antichamber is a puzzle-platform game made by Alexander Bruce, under the name Demruth. It came out in 2013 to critical acclaim and you can play it on Windows, OS X, and Linux.
Bruce came up with the initial idea for Antechamber in 2016 when he was toying around with the idea of turning a game like Snake into a multiplayer experience. The idea gradually morphed into this mind-bending single-player puzzle game.
You can never know what to expect when you’re playing Antichamber, as the world around you is insanely complex and features many bizarre geometrical tricks. If you’re a fan of the optical illusions and forced perspectives in games like Superliminal, you’ll love this.
Aside from the many traditional puzzles you’ll have to solve, it’s fair to say that the entire game is one giant puzzle. At one point, you’ll be able to use different colored guns. Each gun has a certain ability that will allow you to manipulate objects.
As you solve puzzles, you’ll be able to leave behind hints for yourself. You shouldn’t overlook this opportunity as you might forget how you solved a certain puzzle later on. It’s always good to have somewhere to go back and find a hint that will save you a lot of time.
The main focus in Antichamber is puzzle-solving, which becomes evident when you pay attention to every other part of the game. The graphics and the level structure are minimalistic but just enough for the puzzles to be flawless. It stands out as one of the most interesting puzzle games on Steam.
The Stanley Parable
The Stanley Parable is a rather simple story-based game that will leave a lasting impression on you.
Independent studio Galactic Cafe made The Stanley Parable, and initially, it was a free mod for Half-Life 2.
In its initial form, the game was a free mod for Half-Life 2 that came out in 2011. The creators decided to turn the idea into a full game and release The Stanley Parable in 2013. You can play it on Windows, macOS, and Linux.
The actions you can perform in the game are extremely limited. You can walk and interact with only certain elements of the environment. Don’t even think about jumping or dashing.
You play as a silent protagonist called Stanley. You work in a big office building and monitor data that comes from a computer screen. One day, you notice that all of your colleagues are gone. You start looking for answers but that’s when things really get weird.
The game features heavy narration performed by British actor Kevan Brighting. The narrator will comment on many of your actions and sometimes abruptly restart the game if something isn’t right.
The Stanley Parable features a lot of different endings. The choices you make in the game will have an impact on how the story branches out and which ending you’ll experience. The narrator will often guide you and tell you what to do, but it’s up to you to decide whether you’ll listen to him.
What Remains of Edith Finch
What Remains of Edith Finch is technically an adventure video game. Upon its release, many critics called it a great example of games as an art form. It got near-perfect scores from several publications.
Giant Sparrow released the game in 2017. It’s available for Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. There’s also a version of the game made for iOS devices.
You play as an unknown character carrying the journal of a person named Edith Finch. The journal describes how Edith took a trip to Orcas Island to visit her ancestral home after being elsewhere for several years. You then get to experience the story from the perspective of Edith.
Edith explains that she is the last surviving member of the family. She notes that a curse hangs over the Finch family and she’s the only one who avoided it. What Remains of Edith Finch is essentially a collection of strange tales about the Finch family.
As you explore your ancestral home, you’ll experience the events leading to the death of each family member. You’ll also be on a mission to find out why you’re the only Finch that’s still alive.
The tone and the gameplay for the story of each family member are different. The only thing the gameplay in the stories has in common is a first-person perspective. You can experience stories by interacting with memorials to different family members.
While this game isn’t as puzzle-centric as other games like Superliminal, it’s still absolutely worth checking out. The story is truly gripping and dark, and the game itself is beautiful.
Dr. Langeskov, The Tiger, and The Terribly Cursed Emerald: A Whirlwind Heist
If you’re into unusual narratives that are incredibly amusing and full of surprises, this game is perfect for you.
Often referred to as only Dr. Langeskov, this is a short single-player exploration game that came from indie studio Crows Crows Crows. William Pugh founded the studio and he is best known for his contributions to The Stanley Parable.
Dr. Langeskov came out in 2015 and is available for Windows and OS X.
The game is what you would expect from a person who worked on The Stanley Parable. Players are initially given the impression that they’ll be playing a game involving a heist where they will take on the role of a master thief. But, that’s not what happens.
When you actually start the game, it will glitch out and you’ll find yourself in an area akin to the backstage of a theater show. You will soon after hear the narrator talking. He will tell you that someone else is currently playing the game and there can’t be more than one player, so you’ll have to wait your turn.
You also learn that most of the staff working on Dr. Langeskov are on strike. That’s why the narrator will suggest you help out behind the scenes until the player finishes with his gaming session. Once the player leaves, you can experience the main game. But once again, you’re in for a big surprise.
The Beginner’s Guide
The Beginner’s Guide is an interactive storytelling video game that comes from the mastermind behind The Stanley Parable.
Just like The Stanley Parable, this game was also made using the Source engine. It also features a lot of originality. The Beginner’s Guide came out in 2015 and is available for Windows, OS X, and Linux.
What’s really peculiar about this game is that it doesn’t have traditional mechanics, objectives, or goals. In The Beginner’s Guide, you will go through different abstract and incomplete game creations. Exploring these creations will bring you closer to understanding what type of person the developer behind the games is.
Taking inspiration from The Stanley Parable, this game also features a narrator who will comment on a variety of scenes in the game. Some game creations in The Beginner’s Guide feature conversation trees and puzzle solving.
There is no type of mistake that you can make when playing The Beginner’s Guide. Whatever you do, your character won’t lose the game or die. There are different ways to interpret what this game is. Some feel like it represents a commentary on the relationship between players and game developers.
The best theory so far is that it serves as an allegory for the success the creator of The Stanley Parable has had since the release of his first game. Whatever the point of the game may be, this is a truly unusual and unique experience that you shouldn’t overlook, especially if you’re a fan of games with a Superliminal vibe.
The Turing Test
The Turing Test is a single-player puzzle video game that comes from the team at Bulkhead Interactive. The game got positive reviews upon its release, with many critics comparing it to Portal and The Talos Principle.
This is a great game to play if you’re into challenging puzzles and unique game mechanics.
The story is set in the distant future. You play as Ava Turing and you get sent on an important mission by the International Space Agency. You’re part of a research team that has to excavate Europe, one of Jupiter’s moons.
If you’re a fan of sci-fi films and games about space exploration, it will come as no surprise that the whole research team is in cryogenic sleep chambers as they travel to Europa. Once the spacecraft reaches the moon, everybody on the team wakes up except you.
The rest of the team travels to Europa to set up the base and you’re scheduled to wake up when they finish the task. At one point, the artificial intelligence monitoring the project prematurely wakes you up and tells you that your team is in danger. You travel to the base and the story magnificently develops from there.
To progress through the game, you’ll have to solve difficult puzzles. You’re able to use something called the Energy Manipulation Tool to transfer power between machines, which provides a unique twist on gameplay mechanics.
This is one of the most interesting puzzle games on the Switch by a mile, and you can also play it on Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
Manifold Garden is a puzzle video game that comes from indie game developer and artist William Chyr. The game came out in 2019 and is available for Windows, macOS, iOS, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
The visuals in Manifold Garden take inspiration from Escher, one of the most famous graphic design artists of all time.
The game is set in a universe where a different set of physical laws applies. Geometry infinitely repeats in every direction, which makes it a unique and beautiful experience to watch how the world around you evolves. Players have the ability to manipulate gravity, which allows you to see the world in new ways.
It’s not easy to find a video game that will provide you with the same surreal experience as Manifold Garden. The puzzles can be challenging, as you need to make sense of a bizarre world.
The gameplay focuses solely on exploration and puzzle-solving. There is no way for the player to take damage, die, or encounter enemies.
The environment in Manifold Garden is one you’ll remember for years. If you want to preserve memories of your journey in the game, you can take beautiful images with the Photo Mode feature.
The concept behind Quantum Conundrum comes from video game designer Kim Swift, who was one of the developers of the legendary Portal game.
Kim set out to make a game that would both be challenging even to experienced gamers and appeal to a wide audience. The result behind the idea is a charming video game with cute graphics and sci-fi elements like pocket dimensions and aliens.
Quantum Conundrum came out in 2012 and is available for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Windows.
The story follows a twelve-year-old boy who is sent to stay with his uncle, a brilliant and peculiar scientist named Professor Fitz Quadwrangle. As soon as you arrive at Quadwrangle’s house, you hear an explosion. You find out that your uncle did an experiment that went wrong and is now trapped in a pocket dimension.
Your uncle starts guiding you on how to help him escape the pocket dimension. But the experiment did more than just trap your uncle. It also left his house in flux between four different dimensions. Each dimension has different properties that you’ll shift between to solve puzzles.
At one point, you’ll be able to use a powerful tool named the Interdimensional Shift Device to switch between dimensions. You’ll also receive aid from an alien called IKE. The name IKE stands for Interdimensional Kinetic Entity.