Review – Quantum Conundrum

By: Louis Edwards

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Professor Fitz Qwadrangle is in trouble and it’s up to you to save your uncle from whatever mess he’s in. Are you up to the task, and is the task even worth playing?

Read our review to find out.

 

Kim Swift is well known as one of the designers of the Portal series. She has since jumped over to developer Airtight Games and was the lead designer for Quantum Conundrum. For those Portal fans out there, you can clearly see her fingerprints all over this game.

You start out as a young boy, playing in a first person perspective, dropped on your crazy scientist uncle’s door step. His house is more of a mad scientist’s lair than a living space, and the Professor seems to have somehow lost himself in another dimension. His disembodied voice can be heard through some sort of inter-dimensional intercom system, so at least he can try to talk you through his crazy house.

Professor Qwadrangle’s Mascot Ike

The Professor’s dialogue is entertaining. The voice work is done by John DeLancie. He is best known for his work on Star Trek: the Next Generation as Q and fits perfectly into his role as Professor Qwadrangle. His comments help to lighten up the feel of the game, and just might give you a chuckle or two.

The Professor introduces you to his greatest invention: the Interdimensional Shift Device. It’s a glove that can change the laws of physics. The glove can make light things heavy, heavy things light, slow down time to a crawl, and make gravity non-existent. Learning how to control each effect is the key to surviving the crazy house set before you. The house itself and you are not affected by the glove, but objects lying around or spit out by replicators are.

Through a series of puzzles, in which you’ll have to figure out which effect best works for each given situation, you will have to work your way room to room. Each room has a device that will power the needed glove effects, and you’ll have to find batteries in order to empower your glove. You are generally only given the powers you’ll need to solve the puzzle.

The puzzles range from simplistic to mind boggling. Some are so intricate and confusing, that you may find yourself spending quite a bit of trial and error time. Moving conveyor belts, wind and glass walls all add to the puzzles. Only one element can be active at a time, and that can be the trickiest part of the equation. Switching quickly between elements is the key to most puzzles, and if done properly, crossing vast chasms is just a matter of tossing an object, slowing down time and then timing your jump accordingly. Pretty ingenious.

There is a platforming element to the game, and we found this to be frustrating at times. Jumping from place to place requires precision that can be very unforgivable. Platforming in the first person perspective can be tricky, and maybe that was the main problem. This didn’t make the game unplayable but the frustration, at times, outweighed the sense of accomplishment from solving puzzles, only to fall to your death before making it to a checkpoint. Once you die, and you will many times, you are given a message stating something that you will never be able to do or experience. These little blurbs almost make dying entertaining. Almost.

While moving between rooms, you’ll see quite a bit of the same hallways and passageways, but each puzzle room is unique and entertaining. The graphics for the game are top notch. Level design is well thought out, albeit linear. The game music fits the levels nicely as well. Both combine to give an overall great puzzling experience.

For completionists there are collectibles to be found on each level. For competitive gamers there are leaderboards based on the amount of time it has taken you to complete each puzzle, and how many element shifts you used. Both of these adds to the overall replayability of the game and will keep you busy for some time to come.

Airtight Games did a great job of creating a unique puzzle game that is both challenging and entertaining. If only the platforming wasn’t so frustrating.

7

  • http://www.twitter.com/kc_chang Kevin Chang

    Great review!
    Will this game have DLC in the future? That would be cool! Lost rooms, etc.

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