The Atari 2600 controller was about the simplest game controller you could imagine. No triggers, no D-Pad, no shoulder buttons, no haptic feedback or rumble pak. It consisted of just a joystick and a single red button you mashed with your thumb.
Want to simplify it even more? Snap that joystick off and throw it in the trash because you're not gonna need it in the game I just played.
Super 56 is a game where you only use one button. The A button. (Or the A key on your keyboard, if you'd prefer.) And weirdly enough, though it only needs a single button, Super 56 isn't a single game. It's a collection of 56 frantic minigames that you need to race through, tapping, hammering, and/or holding that A button to win. Heck, even to navigate the menus, customize your profile and avatar, or change your settings, you'll only ever be using that one button. Simple!
Except, it's really not. The games in Super 56 are extremely challenging. They span all sorts of different genres, they're all timed, and none of them are explained in advance. You're just dumped into a game and quickly have to figure out what the goal is and what pressing or holding A does. Sometimes the games are over just as you've started getting the hang of them, and then you're quickly launched into the next one.
The demo, which is free on Steam ahead of Super 56's early access launch on February 20, includes 10 of the 56 games, and even just this small taste shows off the wide variety of game types, genres, and styles. In just a few minutes of play I'd competed in archery, racing, platforming, minigolf, a weird mix of breakout and asteroids, and even tennis—though in the tennis game I wasn't the tennis player but the ballboy, waiting at the edge of the court for the ball to hit the net, at which time I'd hammer the A button to race over to grab the ball before a dog did. If I beat the dog there, I'd score a "BALL GET," and if the dog beat me it was a "DOG BALL." Strangely enough, this was my favorite game.
The visuals, sound effects, and music are what I'd describe as obnoxious in the best way. It's a loud, blaring, arcadey experience reminiscent of a retro console, and I laughed a lot while playing, either by goofing up or sometimes just at the revelation at what I was actually supposed to be doing in a minigame, like contorting my body to fit through a gap in an approaching wall (as in Japanese game show Brain Wall). It's singleplayer but there are Steam leaderboards so you'll be able to compete against your friend's scores.
Super 56, by the way, takes place in Hell, where you've arrived to discover your two new roommates, a floating monster and a skeletal demon, have bought the game but can't play it themselves (one has no fingers, the other presses a button at work all day and can't stand the thought of pressing a button while relaxing at home). And in addition to the ones in the demo, it'll also have minigames from genres like fishing, curling, JRPG (in 25 seconds), first-person shooter, "presenting the news," 3D mazes, photography, and even "courtroom drama."
I like it. You can push a button, right? Then you should play the demo immediately.