I can’t remember the last time an update fundamentally changed the reception of a game as much as Superhot.
Superhot first launched back in 2016 as an innovative independent shooter where the action only happens when you move. It was clever, well designed, and extremely popular, but when Superhot made the jump to VR, it soon became essential and a poster child for the hardware.
So that makes this Switch re-release a wee bit muted. Especially since we have Labo VR and Nintendo seem resistant to work with third parties on it. But unlike previous flat versions of the game, Superhot Switch finds a lovely halfway home between all previous versions.
True, you don’t get the VR component, but what you do have is deftly designed motion control empowered by the Switch JoyCons. It works marvellously.
When in handheld mode, you can play Superhot gyroscopically by turning the console around in full 360-degree view, using the analogs to move while tapping the ZR button to fight back against the burning men.
It does respond when using JoyCons or a Pro Controller while Docked, but it doesn’t quite resonate the same way when it’s in the palm of your hands. In that way, I guess, the Superhot team have done most of the work in supporting Labo VR, without Labo VR support.
For those who have never tried Superhot in any way, shape, or form, though, this is the most universally approachable way yet and the most enjoyable experience outside of popping on an Oculus Quest or PSVR.
The user interface looks crisp on Switch’s portable screen, the action is slick and smooth, the concept never outstays its welcome, and that replay feature at the end of each level never gets old.
It takes the most simple of ideas – jumping, punching, shooting, hacking and slashing, and makes each one incredibly satisfying by making it seem relevant to your survival.
You’re never armed with a weapon, so it’s about finding ways to disarm an enemy, then using what you can find to get rid of the rest.
And there’s this lovely sense of humour about the game as well, with it almost being treated as a cracked rom that’s been illegally downloaded and is gradually updated with newer versions.
There’s even fun little 8 bit mini games to play in-between, like chopping wood while avoiding hazards. It’s just an experience that’s designed to be fun and fluid while it lasts. Which, admittedly, isn’t very long.
Superhot is perhaps the finest example of the quality and high standards independent game development has reached this generation. It takes a relatively simple idea and makes it innovative and fun.
Switch tax is a bit of a kick in the teeth for this one considering prices elsewhere and the lack of Labo VR support is a little disappointing, but this might just be the best place to play Superhot where a VR headset isn’t involved.
Superhot is out now on Nintendo Switch
Review Code provided by PR Agency