Superhot: In this FPS, time only moves when you move

First-person shooter Superhot adds an extraordinarily clever twist to more traditional first-person shooter gaming. It has broken the Steam Greenlight speed record, passing in just five days.

Michelle Starr Science editor
Michelle Starr is CNET's science editor, and she hopes to get you as enthralled with the wonders of the universe as she is. When she's not daydreaming about flying through space, she's daydreaming about bats.
Michelle Starr
2 min read
Blue Brick

As independent gaming development grows, so too are we seeing the proliferation of game jams where developers are tasked with designing a game in a short time. Last month saw 7DFPS, a game jam where the only requirement was to create a first-person shooter within seven days.

Now, we've seen some pretty cool games come out of these jams. Some have gone on to become hugely popular -- and one of those is currently in the making. Called Superhot and created by Polish studio Blue Brick, it brings something wickedly fresh and new to the arguably predictable FPS.

It plays out in a very cool, minimally designed white environment whose only purpose is to provide a backdrop to the gameplay. To that end, there are no textures or additional artifacts: it's just you and your enemies, depicted in red, with zero distractions.

The aim, of course, is to take out everyone else on the level. But here's where it gets interesting: When you're not moving, time slows right down to a crawl, which means you have to carefully plan out your moves. And, just as you can dodge a bullet fired at you by stopping, watching its trajectory, then throwing yourself out of the way, your foes likewise have time to dodge your shots, which means you have to calculate your own trajectories accordingly.

With only very limited ammunition, you have to make every shot count.

"Think about falling into a ballroom full of enemies," the team said. "Through a glass ceiling. With shatters of glass everywhere and enemies firing at you. As you fall, everything moves fast and suddenly stops when you land. With debris and bullets roaring slowly all around, you plan your dance -- killing your foes with style."

Built as it was in seven days, the game is a little on the short side, with only a few levels that get more difficult as you progress. The team, however, looked to expand on its premise on Steam Greenlight, a process whereby Steam users can vote on games they'd most like to see available on the platform. Blue Brick announced Wednesday that it reached approval in a record just five days.

"We're very excited about [breaking the Greenlight record], but ahead of us lies an even greater task," the team said in a post. "Right now we have to make this game happen. "

It is, without reservation, one of the most clever interpretations we've seen on the genre. The full game (currently available to play for free online) will be available for PC, Mac, and Linux. You can see the other 19 titles approved in Wednesday's batch here.

Update, 4:40 p.m. PT: The story has been updated to indicate that Superhot has broken the Steam Greenlight speed record, passing in just five days.

(Source: CNET Australia)