While the market for spoofs in films is pretty prolific, we don’t see it as often in games.
You get a handful come through from time to time – The Stanley Parable, The Last Hero of Nostalgaia – but it’s far and few between. And sometimes you just want a game to be easy-going, to give you a giggle and not take things too seriously.
Especially in this hard-hitting AAA space right now, with 2023 releasing one hit after the next. So the latest Supraland game comes at a good time, to be honest. It’s got wit, it has charm, it looks good and it plays quite well too.
The Supraland games, for those who don’t know, have been big hits on Steam. They’re first person adventure games where you collect coins, solve puzzles and are occassionally called into battle against some mean creatures.
This would-be spin-off – but actually is more of a sequel – follows on from the previous game, though can also be very much played as its own self-contained thing. There’s even a joke about that right at the beginning when you bump into a historian who tries to break down the story in a sentence, then comes to the conclusion that it doesn’t matter. I got a good chuckle out of that.
This is a game that loves to poke holes at itself, like having characters take credit for your work and call you smelly. But equally it ribs a lot of pop culture in games as there’s references to Dark Souls, Metroid, Mario – in case you’re wondering why that coin collection noise sounds familiar.
And, of course, there’s a touch of Minecraft in here as the game has you chipping away at blocks so you can gain access to secret passages and find treasure.
You can even find Wally (or Waldo) if you look in the right places.
But the rough story is you’re relaxing in your little kingdom, pledging allegiance to your king who’s about to do something bold and daring, when suddenly a great earthquake happens – it’s basically humans walking around in a garden – and you venture down the sewers to try and escape. Only to fall six inches under. Oops.
The game immediately starts with you collecting coins to buy abilities … so you can get more coins to purchase other abilities. And we’re talking simple stuff like crouching and higher jumps, not overpowered blasts of energy or turbo speed. But over time you will get access to more potent mining picks, higher jumps and more. You’ll even be able to see things like enemy health bars
For a game that is kind of silly, it’s actually surprisingly compelling and has a good gameplay hook that keeps you invested and engaged. The short puzzles are good enough to get you thinking outside the box but they’re never too taxing. And they often lean into the game’s unconventional sense of humor, so you get to feel more connected to the overall mindset.
One example: you’ll have to think about how to smell nice and fresh after crossing a swamp only for the shower on the other side to be occupied, or how to see in dark spaces with no torches or lights in sight.
The game is a great distraction from the heavy load of releases right now and it’s gone straight into Game Pass so you can dive in right away without any costs attached. Which is always nice.
It’s a good laugh, it’s well made and it doesn’t outstay its welcome, both in terms of the content and the level of humour.
And while it’s not quite at the level of Supraland – both because this was originally designed to be a DLC so the scope isn’t as big and because it does tend to play a bit safe at times – and I did experience one or two hard crashes, it’s a pretty enjoyable experience from start to finish.
Supraland: Six Inches Under has some fun and takes the player along for the ride. It’s easy-going, mostly harmless but has some clever puzzle-solving to make the experience feel rounded and enjoyable. Minor hard crashes and some repetitive content aside, this is one to play when you need a bit of a palette cleanser.
+ A mostly enjoyable, funny and entertaining journey
+ Some smart puzzle solving
+ Controls well
– Some minor hard crashes and lockups forced a few restarts
– Some content feels a tad repetitive
Supraland: Six Inches Under is now available on PC, Xbox Game Pass, and PlayStation. Coming to Nintendo Switch Summer 2023.
Code Kindly Provided by Humble for review purposes
Played on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X