Quantum Conundrum

Quantum Conundrum is a First-person puzzle video game by Airtight Games and published by Square Enix. It is designed by Kim Swift, who formerly worked at Valve as a lead designer on the critically acclaimed Portal. This game is...unique. If you liked Portal, you will probably like this. This game is a little less serious then Portal was, it feels a bit more childish. Doesn't lose it's value in it's childishness, though. 

 

Basically, you're playing as a kid who gets left at his uncles. Simple enough, until you throw in the fact that his uncle is a mad scientist who has trapped himself in a "pocket dimension" and it is your job to help him escape. You have 3 different generators to activate, each one basically being a chapter for you to complete. 

There are four dimensions for you to play with:

  • The Fluffy dimension, where objects are ten times lighter than normal, allowing the character to pick up most non-fixed objects.
  • The Heavy dimension, where objects are ten times heavier than normal; the player cannot pick up any objects, but their new density allows them to avoid destruction by laser beams and allows cardboard boxes to weigh more than a normal safe.
  • The Slow dimension, where time crawls to ten times slower than normal, though the player moves at normal speed.
  • The Reverse Gravity dimension, where gravity is reversed, though the player is unaffected by this.

These are introduced one at a time, you get all 4 in the final chapter. The gameplay and physics are phenomenal. Whilst this game does not produce the same challenge that Portal did, for me, it is still a tough game. There are points that are in-your-face easy and then there are parts that are so tough to get past. Sometimes things may appear easy and the obvious path is right there, but you just can't quite reach it.

Only one dimension at a time can be accessed. When dimensions are switched, all objects retain their existing position and velocity, the latter becoming a critical factor in solving many of the games puzzles. For example, with access to the Fluffy and Slow dimensions, the player can pick up a heavy safe in the Fluffy dimension, toss it towards a distant platform, and then immediately switch to the Slow dimension, giving themselves enough time to jump onto the safe as it crosses the gap to the platform. The concepts are simple yet mind-blowing. 

Some of the dialogue in the game is so funny. Along with the funny stories involving the Professor and "Ike", the bizarre creature that appears to be the Professors best friend. They went to the past, the future and everything in between. Ike is more than helpful throughout the whole story. There are parts of the dialouge that will leave you laughing long after you have left that area. Some examples of this are the explanations of the paintings. There is a drawing of a digger that they aptly named "Every Day I'm Shovelin'" which had me laughing for quite some time! His freeze ray named "Freezy Ray Vaughn" and his Cat, known to respond to "Derp", were are small additions to the game that really just added a great sense of humour to the overall game. 

Overall, the game is a funny, smart and you genuinely want to see it through to the end. Kim Swift's touch is very evident all over this game. This is a must have to any Portal fan, or even a fan of a fantastic first person game. This is one game I do not regret purchasing. 

Overall Score: 8/10

- Ken Seiler