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This unique first-person shooter might be the coolest game on Kickstarter

Super Hot throws out everything you thought you knew about first-person shooters


Patrick Howell O'Neill


Posted on May 16, 2014   Updated on May 31, 2021, 7:22 am CDT

Three bullets were just fired. They’re slowly creeping toward you, and though they’re not blasting forward in a flash, they can still kill. The trick is to control time like a puzzle, dodge the hail of glacial gunfire, and eliminate your well-armed adversaries. Simple, right?

That’s Super Hot, a weird and phenomenal first-person shooter that just raised over $135,000 in just 48 hours on Kickstarter, part of an effort to transform the game from an indie hit into a full-blown, fully funded project.

In a traditional shooter, bullets invariably travel thousands of miles per hour and gameplay can be lightning fast to match. Winning depends on a mix of reflexes, instinct, and strategy.

Super Hot takes the fast moving first-person shooter formula and turns it sideways. Time only moves when your character does. When you stand still, so does time, making the game less about reflexes and more of a meticulously solved puzzle. One bullet can kill you, so the entire game is about navigating the maze of projectiles hailing down on you and then eliminating enemies when you’ve finally gained the upper hand.

“With this simple mechanic we’ve been able to create gameplay that’s not all about reflexes,” the developers wrote. 

“The player’s main weapon[s] [are] careful aiming and smart planning, while not compromising on the dynamic feeling of the game.”

Super Hot was originally created in August 2013 for the seven-day First Person Shooter challenge by a group of Polish indie developers. Since then, the bare-bones version has become hugely popular—a fact made fairly obvious by the torrent of support that the Kickstarter has received. The game managed to snag a few key awards last year before exploding in popularity after sites like Kotaku and Rock Paper Shotgun sang its praises.

For all the good press about the gameplay, Polish artist Marcin Surma has to get major congratulations on putting together one of the coolest looking games in recent memory. A comic book artist on the side, Surma’s flair for hyperfuturistic minimalism gave the game a one-of-a-kind look.

Super Hot, as it is, already boasts innovative gameplay, beautiful aesthetics, and addictive puzzles. But with a fully funded Kickstarter meets all its goals, the game’s art, modes, animations, scenarios, and mechanics will all be expanded. Most interesting of all, a speedrun mode—a race to see who can finish the game the fastest—will be added to bring a competitive element.

As money pours into the project from the rabid fanbase, the already great game should get even better. And if you want, you can still play the original game for free.

Screengrab via Super Hot

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*First Published: May 16, 2014, 3:14 pm CDT