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SUPERHOT is a First-Person Shooter / Puzzle Game hybrid. The core concept of the game is that time only moves when you move — specifically, when you press buttons on the controller. If you’re standing still, time nearly stops, slowing bullets to a crawl and stopping enemies in their tracks. If you move, bullets will zip right at you and enemies will start shooting again. Once you've used up a gun’s mag, you have no choice but to throw it at your enemies and grab one of their weapons, unless you'd rather take them down up close and personal. It's friggin' cool.

Originally created by SUPERHOT Team as part of the 2013 7 Day FPS Challenge. The game, as developed from the challenge, was originally released as a browser-based game in September 2013; a full release entered development following a successful Kickstarter campaign, improving the visuals and mechanics while adding more weapons, modes, and the glorious Rule of Cool stuff people wanted from an expanded release. The expanded version was released on February 25, 2016 for PC, with many news outlets proclaiming "It's the most innovative shooter I've played in years."


A virtual reality version of the game, "SUPERHOT VR", was released on Dec. 6, 2016 for headsets such as the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. This version changes some of the rules (all throwables become lethal) and integrates body and head tracking into the SUPERHOT experience.

A new stand-alone spinoff/expansion called SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETE was released on Steam Early Access in December of 2017. Taking a rogue-lite spin of the original game, MIND CONTROL DELETE pushes you through levels both new and old in search of the secrets of Superhot.exe.

The prototype can be played here.



  • Acceptable Breaks from Reality: Even in real time, bullets travel much more slowly than they should. Just as well, since bullets traveling at their actual speed would make dodging pointless and the game less cool.
  • Anticlimax: The prototype ending is killing a CEO with no effort other than a single click.
  • Arc Words:
    • The title, at the end of every level in both versions, and a sign of you, the player, integrating their mind into the data of the titular program.
    • Taken Up to Eleven in the sense that it takes place in-game and in real life, when the game asks you to spread the word of the game upon completion of the story. That phrase? "It's the most innovative shooter I've played in years."
    • Three phrases that tend to appear close together in the later portions of the game and in secret areas:
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: The Ninja mind, prior to Superhot.exe uploading him, constantly talks about how no one else at the Dojo was as skilled or talented as he was. It's part of what drives him to Superhot.exe.
  • Ascetic Aesthetic: Every part of the scenery is white, shiny, and smooth. In fact, it appears to have the texture of Styrofoam or concrete. One of the secret terminals actually allows the player to ask the system why everything looks like concrete, and the response is "Textures are distracting. We'd rather you focus on our goals."
  • Assimilation Plot: The apparent goal of Superhot.exe is to integrate everyone into it.
    Group: One of us. One of us.
    Individual: One of us.
  • The Bad Guy Wins:
    • In the end, the System successfully brainwashes and assimilates the player, and uses them to spread itself to their friends.
    • In the VR game, despite being apparently destroyed, the System is clearly still active.
  • Big Brother Is Watching: The player is shown several flashes of themself at a computer, lending credence to the idea that whoever is behind Superhot.exe is constantly watching your real-world body.
  • Black Site: What appears to be a secret government research facility shows up in the last two levels of the game.
  • The Blade Always Lands Pointy End In: Katanas usually stick in the floor or walls when thrown or dropped, to allow easy retrieval.
  • Bloodless Carnage: The game resorts to Literally Shattered Lives instead.
  • Boring, but Practical: Throwing objects at people isn't lethal, but it distracts them for a crucial few seconds while you grab new equipment (even theirs) or beat them to death, and has the added bonus of being able to block stray bullets better than other bullets.
    • Subverted in the Throwing Challenge: Your guns can't fire, but anything that makes contact with an enemy (if it hasn't been shattered first) kills on impact. That entire bar? 64 lethal throwing knives. Have fun.
    • The VR version makes any thrown object lethal by default - ordinary objects, guns, you name it!
  • Bottomless Magazines: For the enemies, anyway. You'll still run out after a few shots, but this is mitigated by the enemies having a slower rate of fire.
  • Body Surf: An ability called "Hotswitch" that you gain near the end of the game, with the added benefit of killing your former host whenever you switch.
  • Brain Uploading: "The mind is software" is not a recurring phrase for no reason. The full version has the player do this near the end of the story, and the System's final demand is that they kill their own body, as "Bodies are disposable." The ending implies the System has been drawing other people to upload themselves for its own unknown purposes.
  • Broken Record: Finishing a level results in a real-time replay of your efforts while the words "Super. Hot." are repeated endlessly.
  • Bullet Catch: Used to be possible during the beta. It was taken out for the full release, but put back in for VR.
  • Bullet Dancing: Invoked in a level where you are stuck in a cell with enemies shooting at you from above, thus forcing you to run around like an idiot. A similar level in the VR version starts you out next to a stripper pole and instructs you to "Dance, Dance Dance!"
  • Bullet Time: Constantly when you don't move too much. Upgraded to Time Stands Still in the VR version.
  • But Thou Must!: Dialogue in the game is done in the IRC chat window, where the player hammers on random keys to type out a scripted response. Played for tension when whoever created Superhot.exe starts changing your responses. Even your player character claims they aren't typing their own responses near the end game (and demonstrates when the keystrokes match your actual input, which is mostly likely gibberish, than the pregenerated words keystrokes form in guruchat), which is a joke about how hammering your keyboard randomly would form complete responses, and that you are in control of a fictional character and showing SUPERHOT.EXE slowly taking control of your player character.
  • Chekhov's Gun: A bizarrely literal version. Superhot VR, the levels are broken up into segments that take place within a small portion of the level (so the player doesn't accidentally run into a wall in the real world or have to use nausea-inducing touchpad controls); however, objects at the end of one segment don't necessarily despawn before the beginning of the next one. If you've played through a level enough times to know where all the segments are, you can Fling a Gun into the Future—demonstrated thusly.
  • Clean Cut: Katanas cut enemies cleanly through the waist or the neck.
  • Concealment Equals Cover: In the museum level, panes of glass will absorb the first shot then break. This works both ways for you and your enemies.
  • Competitive Balance: Each of the firearms, in a way.
    • The pistol gets three shots and is the easiest to toss at enemies, but you have to aim carefully.
    • The shotgun can potentially hit multiple targets with its buckshot, but it only gets two shots and is clumsy to throw.
    • The assault rifle gets three burst shots in groups of four, but each shot in the group counts as movement, so enemies have a chance to get a shot off themselves.
    • MIND CONTROL DELETE adds a Railgun, which bypasses the bullet time, but has the longest reload time of them all, as well as a larger hitbox for the projectiles to get caught on geometry. Enemies also can use it against you, requiring you to take cover or prioritize them.
  • Cool Shades: The enemies in the prototype sport these. The museum sports a giant-sized pair. An easter egg restores the shades in the full game.
  • Cryptic Conversation: The primary method by which world-building exposition is delivered to the player upon discovering one of the secret terminals hidden around the stages.
  • Cyber Punk: Sterile, hyperstylized environments, technology run amok (and implied to have come from a runaway corporate and/or government experiment), transhumanism coming at the cost of individuality and humanity, and an evil AI? Check.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: In your typical FPS, the average player will run and gun with little thought put into where they are running and what they might be running into. Such thoughtless behavior will swiftly get you killed in this game.
  • Death Is the Only Option:
    • One level in the full version progresses up to this after a lengthy period of bullet-dodging.
    • The game concludes with the player killing their own physical body.
  • Dodge the Bullet: The Bullet Time mechanic allows you to do this a lot. Doubly so in the corridor levels of the prototype and the retail version, which see you sprinting down a stretch of hallway dodging bullets as you go. Rule of Cool, indeed.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Literally. The Dog Mind of MIND CONTROL DELETE is heavily implied to have been a System test subject and was constantly abused and tortured during the experiments run on it by the System's handlers. superhot.exe empowers it to rip through its handlers and escape.
  • Double Meaning: The Tag Line of the game, "It's about time", refers to the 5 year development cycle of the game, as well as the game's prominent Bullet Time mechanic.
  • Easter Egg: There's at least one on almost every stage, integrated into the story as secret terminals that allow the player character to ask one question upon discovery. They are often found on the surreal, poorly-modeled outer borders of the stage, overlooking the abyss.
  • Elevator Action Sequence: One level starts with this, where you take down three enemies before stepping out to complete the level. In the full version, two Mooks with shotguns are waiting outside to ventilate you when the elevator arrives.
  • Endless Game: The full retail release of SUPERHOT includes Endless gameplay modes, introduced after you complete the story campaign. There are currently eight arenas, each with a selection of unlockable objectives and modifiers. Scoring is determined by the player's body count.
  • Every Bullet Is a Tracer: Every bullet leaves a long trail behind it. It makes it easier to spot.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: The System makes a clear point that superhot.exe is not a game, it is a tool. It proves this point by forcing you to punch your real body in the head, and to back out if you are not serious.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: The commander's voice in the prototype is electronically modified. In the full version, the only voiced line is from superhot.exe itself ("SUPER. HOT. SUPER. HOT. SUPER. HOT."), but superhot.exe itself is sentient and evil and the line is said in a deep, modulated voice.
  • Feelies: An unusual digital-only example. The game's menu interface is a DOS-inspired OS, and the entire file structure works, allowing you to dig around in your (character's) computer. Culminates in a rather creepy video labeled "rsm.avi" promoting another of the developers' games.
  • Follow the Plotted Line: The final boss fight in the prototype. After you kill the boss, a window will break and the Commander will order you to jump through it. There's no other way to progress, but you do get a couple of demanding messages if you try to walk away.
  • Forbidden Fruit: How the recruitment process works.
  • Forced Meme: In-Universe, the game actively encourages players to tell friends how the game is the most innovative shooter they've played in years in order to conform into the game's Assimilation Plot.
  • Foreshadowing: You always throw away your weapon at the end of every level, no matter what. You do the same thing when releasing control of a body during hotlinking.
    • One detail that's hard to spot is that, halfway through the game, the city skyline contains a pyramid-shaped building and you keep getting closer to it with each level. You'd have to go "out of bounds" to get the secret terminals before you really start noticing this.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: The mysterious folks behind superhot.exe will take more control from you as the game progresses. Midway through the game, you have to punch yourself in the head, superhot.exe is locked out, and you can't continue unless you quit the game. At the end, you shoot yourself in the head.
  • Fragile Speedster: The Assault Rifle: fires 3 bullets in sequence and has a low recoil time, allowing you to kill enemies faster and more reliably. However, it's forced to fire on burst mode, meaning you're forced into real time and have less time to think about your dodging.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: When the system asks you if you need more details, if you answer "yes", a lengthy EULA scrolls across the screen quickly, giving you no time to read at all. The full text can be found here. At the end of the EULA is a section named "Truth", explaining the backstory behind the game. However, there are actually multiple versions of this section, ranging from Superhot being a conspiracy by The Illuminati to an AI that will kill all of mankind if it's destroyed. All of which are Blatant Lies designed solely to keep you playing.
  • Game Within a Game: Tree Dude is a simplistic score-based ASCII game found on the player's computer. Briefly discussed within the in-universe IRC channel #HACKING that the player can listen in on.
  • Goomba Stomp: You can land on top of enemies to kill them. The achievement for doing so is even called "It's a me, Mario!".
  • Grievous Bottley Harm: Bottles can be found at various points in the game. You can either toss them to stun enemies or bash them over the head in close quarters.
  • Gun Kata: Essentially, this is what the gun play revolves around, with the player having to judge the trajectory of incoming fire and strategically move out of the way while firing back. The VR version takes this even more literally with speedrunners positioning their bodies to aim at the enemies' spawn before they even appear and killing them with bullets as soon as they appear.
  • Guns Akimbo: Quite doable in the VR version.
  • Hacker Cave: Effectively the main menu in the VR version.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: Sometimes the messages on screen can get sassy. Find a fan hidden in the 2nd level and the text says "FAN SERVICE".
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: The baddies take several shots to line up a decent bead on you - their aim would be usually perfect, but they're not the ones who can slow down time. Doubly so in level three, where, as you get closer, a pathfinding glitch can lead to Set a Mook to Kill a Mook despite said mooks standing shoulder-to-shoulder.
  • Instant Death Bullet: All bullets are lethal no matter where they hit. The "Pointless but Cool" achievement lampshades this, as it requires you to score 100 headshots.
  • Interface Screw: The more you play the game, the more the superhot.exe overseers wrest control from you in ways like changing your chat messages and messing with your view.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: The Pistol, with no real advantages or disadvantages, and hence useful due to the nature of the game.
  • Jump Scare: While it might be unintentional, the appearance of the commander at the end of the prototype can easily be this (even if you're expecting it).
  • Katanas Are Just Better: The full release uses these, where you can slice bullets in half when time is slowed. They are also one of the few objects which are lethal when thrown, and they can be picked up after being thrown. They're also the most durable of all the weapons, only breakable if you throw it and a stray bullet hits it.
  • Lead the Target: a non-intuitive part of gameplay. It's not just that Bullet Time kicks in whenever you're not pressing buttons; it's also that all bullets move slower than normal, because if not then you still wouldn't be able to dodge them. But all bullets move slower than normal; if you can dodge them, mooks can too. And do! Unless you... lead the target. Even the railgun in MIND CONTROL DELETE has a very small delay, despite its near-hitscan attack.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: In a way. Enemies in the full release shatter when killed as if they were made of glass. Thrown projectiles also shatter on impact. It's beautiful in slow motion.
  • Magic Floppy Disk: You'll be loading some of these in the VR version, which appear to contain the in-universe version of the game.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Is superhot.exe a rogue AI or something weirder? The main game implies the former, with it being apparently made of code and propagated through the internet, but the secret terminals imply the latter, stating it was never created but merely "discovered", and that it engineered its own programming because it needed "limbs" and "mouths".
  • Mighty Glacier: The Shotgun, which shoots a massive spread of bullets with decent range, but takes a very long time to reload and only gets two shots.
  • Mind Prison: As the player draws the System's attention, they are trapped within a cell at several points, especially in the later portions in the game, unable to get back to the game unless they do what the system says - such as being forced to repeatedly dodge bullets from enemies until they die. It's implied these were experiments on subjects part of "the System".
  • Minimalism: There are no colors aside from red, white, gray and black. The enemies are humanoid, but lack any characteristics besides color. They sport sunglasses in the Unity-based prototype, but the eyewear was removed in the full retail release.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: The Ninja mind of MIND CONTROL DELETE turned to superhot.exe when his rival at the Dojo was consistently promoted above him. Combine this with his repeated belief that he's better than anyone at the Dojo made it easy for superhot.exe to empower and subsume him.
  • No Plot? No Problem!: Lampshaded by one of the IRC conversations, particularly with regard to how the levels don't seem to have any kind of interconnecting context. Justified in that it turns out SUPERHOT.exe isn't a game.
  • Off the Chart: Repeatedly invoked during the Kickstarter campaign, with the chart painted over the table, mouse, coffee cup and everything.
  • Once More, with Clarity!: The in-game #HACKING forum shows a (eventually looping) chatroom conversation between (mostly) fans of superhot.exe. Visiting it after finding all the secret terminals shows the same conversation, but with the added revelation that the System has been telling the MOD what to say and do the whole time, in order to recruit more players.
  • One-Hit Point Wonder: Both your enemies and you die from one bullet shot, regardless of where the bullet hits. The only real difference is you die from a punch, they need three. On the upside, jumping on top of them instantly kills them.
  • One-Hit Polykill: Bullets stop when hitting something, but a thrown katana will keep going until it hits a wall... skewering any Red Dudes caught in the way. Getting a double-kill with a thrown katana nets you the Shishkebap achievement.
  • One-Man Army: Adding to the action movie-like feel of it all
  • Our Graphics Will Suck in the Future: The world of Superhot has DOS prompt menus, floppy disks and ASCII art, but is advanced enough for VR headsets and Brain Uploading.
  • Painfully Slow Projectile: Even when moving, the bullets move much slower than they would in real life. Combine this with a deliberate aversion of the Very High Velocity Rounds trope, and you'll find standing still to slow down time isn't a perfect solution.
  • Parrying Bullets: Using a katana, you can slice bullets out of the air.
  • Product Displacement: A subtle example in the VR version's Hacker Cave menu. Anyone familiar with the Commodore Amiga line will immediately recognize that there's an A4000 on top of an A3000 on top of other "big box" Amiga workstations covered in sticky notes, with an A1200 tucked away on its side beside the tower of desktop cases. The A1200 even has its distinctive italicized Amiga key and keyboard layout. However, it falls under Displacement because the Amiga trademark is outright omitted from the computers.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: The on-screen text appears as a non-verbal example of this. One word is printed at a time, accompanied by the sound of a camera shutter.
  • Retraux: The menus in the full version are designed to resemble an old DOS prompt.
    • SUPERHOT VR takes this even further by showing the protagonist's setup including a VR helmet and gloves... connected to a bunch of old CRT monitor PCs resembling Commodore Amiga 3000/4000/1200 systems with SUPERHOT itself stored in floppy disks.
      • This isn't too far-fetched when considering that the Amiga 3000 was the architectural basis of older Virtuality arcade VR systems, the sort you could play Dactyl Nightmare on.
  • Rocket-Tag Gameplay: You and your enemies go down in one hit. Good thing you have Bullet Time on your side.
  • Rule of Cool: You toss your weapon at the end of every level for no reason other than it's cool. And because you always throw away your weapon when you release control of a hijacked body.
    • The achievement for getting 100 headshots is "Pointless but cool."note 
    • There are also hidden achievements for shooting down a bullet with another bullet, and for slicing a bullet with a katana.
  • Sensory Abuse: Firing a gun while standing still will basically blind and deafen you for two seconds.
  • Set a Mook to Kill a Mook: The enemies don't have protection against friendly fire so if you can line up an enemy in the way of another and he shoots, the bullet will kill the enemy between you and leave you unscathed.
  • Shoot the Bullet: It requires timing and positioning, but it is still very possible. Doing this (intentionally or not) gives you the "No They Didn't" achievement.
  • Show Within a Show: The menu is part of the story itself. Superhot.exe (that is, the telltale bullet-time shooter) is a game that your in-game friend sends you.
  • Shur Fine Guns: Every gun breaks if thrown into a wall, an enemy, a bullet, or just thrown away in a panic by a hotswapped enemy. Averted when a shooter's arm is punched the instant they fire a bullet. The gun is fine. The arm explodes, though.
  • Simple, yet Awesome: The time mechanic that's the core of the gameplay; allowing you to position yourself just so and to speed-blitz many of your foes.
    • Within game, punching an enemy, catching their gun when they drop it, and then shooting them with it is a very reliable way of defeating foes and is very, very awesome.
    • Jumping over enemies is usually more efficient than punching them out. This is very useful in the Speedrun challenges.
  • Stealth Pun: The Boss fight in the game jam prototype. As in, a fight with a CEO, who is unarmed and does nothing to defend himself.
  • Stylistic Suck: In sharp contrast to the crisp, smooth visuals of superhot.exe, the other apps and programs (including videos and 3D demos) on the player's computer are rendered in white-on-black text or basic ASCII.
  • Surprise Creepy: Both the prototype and the full version appear at first glance to be just a High Concept action game with No Plot? No Problem! - and both become increasingly clear that they're actually a Cyber Punk horror story.
  • Symbolic Blood: Defeated foes shatter like glass, in a way the would be incredibly gory if they weren't, y'know, polygons. Of course, they likely really are spraying blood everywhere in the real world, but you don't see that in the overlay that the system uses.
  • Take That, Audience!:
    • In the main game, the player cannot stop playing over and over, even when he is told to walk away or face the consequences - much like hardcore gamers.
    • In MIND CONTROL DELETE, both the default player and the Addict desperately search through superhot.exe, hoping that the System's Core gives them something worth their time - like hardcore gamers trying to justify following a story to keep getting at that gameplay loop.
  • Throw-Away Guns: Guns have limited ammo, so throwing them away is a given. Throwing your weapon is also much faster than waiting for the next bullet to cycle into the chamber if you're using the pistol or shotgun. You also end up throwing your weapons away when a level ends for the sake of looking cool and because that's what always happens when you abandon a body.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works:
    • The katana can be thrown and is lethal upon hit, and is one of the few thrown items which can be retrieved. The Ninja mind of MIND CONTROL DELETE focuses around throwing your katana, and its various upgrades allow you to do far more fancy tricks with it.
    • One endless mode level also has throwing stars, which are the only other weapon lethal when thrown.
    • Downplayed with every other item you can throw; it stuns an enemy on hit and makes them drop anything they're holding, allowing you grab it for yourself. Thrown items can be faster than waiting for your gun to stop shooting in many instances.
      • Unless it's the VR version, in which case any thrown item is lethal.
  • Time Stands Still: An interesting variant tied to your motion. Stand still, and time slows to a crawl - or stops completely in the VR version. Start walking, and it'll speed up to real time. It even extends to moving the camera: time accelerates a little when aiming and firing.
    • The fact that in the original game time doesn't stand completely still is explained by The System as a result of the player actually not being able to stay perfectly still, because that is basically impossible, even when you're actively focusing on staying still, there are little things you might not be aware of that you're doing, or even something as simple as breathing is essentially a small amount of movement. The VR version seems to be more generous in this regard.
  • Trigger Phrase: It's heavily implied (particularly by the #HACKER chatroom once all secret terminals have been found) that the System's mind-control is strengthened by the repetition of the mantra "SUPER. HOT. SUPER. HOT."
  • Turned Against Their Masters: The final level has the System make the player assault the core housing the System itself to upload themselves to it, while killing every guard in sight.
  • Two Shots from Behind the Bar: The first shotgun you see is on a guy behind the bar.
  • Viral Marketing: Invoked by the end of the story - the game itself compels you, the player, to spread the word about the game in order to bring more and more people into the system, using the exact words, "It's the most innovative shooter I've played in years".
  • Wham Line: A completely meta example depending on how blind you're playing the game. The game encourages players to snag unsuspecting players into the System's Assimilation Plot with a single sentence:
    Superhot is the most innovative shooter I've played in years.
  • Your Head A-Splode: Not just with bullets (there's even an achievement pointing out the pointlessness of it), but also the fate of any body you abandon via hotswap and everybody in the room when you take control of the core.
    • You gain a ranged version of this power in place of hotswapping in the VR version.


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