Published on June 25th, 2012 | by Charlie


Review: Quantum Conundrum

Review: Quantum Conundrum Charlie

Summary: Charlie takes a look at Quantum Conundrum, is it any good? read the review to find out!


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Designed by Kim Swift, the lead designer of Portal, Quantum Conundrum borrows and borrows from all types of media, of course they’re very “small” types of “borrows”. But if there’s one thing you will notice about the game is how close it is to Portal. It’s like: once you’ve developed one game, you’ll always find a way to develop it again. And was Quantum Conundrum worth it’s price? Yes and no. You play as an unnamed little boy who is dropped off by his mother to stay with his uncle for a little while who lives in a massive house over a very thin cliff. However, his uncle is actually a professor named Fitz Quadwrangle, who is voiced by the brilliant John De Lancie. Over the many years and visits the boy has had, Quadwrangle has invented numerous things and has even gone back in time. But this visit is different when Quadwrangle finds himself in a strange dimension. With no memory on how it happened from his point of view, it’s your task to get him out of there by traversing through the dimensions using a special glove and reboot the generators around the house. Now I tried to follow the story, and I must say it does have it’s very quirky moments and there are parts of the game that makes you go “what if”, but by the end of the story, you may end up feeling a little short changed. When you complete the game, it just stops… literally. And the reason why the developers have done that is to make way for DLC, so essentially if you want to know the true ending of the game, you literally have to buy the DLC when it’s released or you’d of needed to buy the “Season Pass” to get the DLC cheaper. Why the developers did that I will never know and quite frankly, it’s really hurt the game. When playing the game, you also may come up with ideas in your head on how the game might end, but the sad truth it, it won’t end how you want it or how you’d expect it. So to make it from start to finish, you’ll need a good mind and the right gloves. You’ve got the mind, but where do you get the gloves? Not to fear, Quadwrangle is here… not that he has any choice. You’re given an Interdimensional Shift Device (IDS for short) which allows you to traverse through 4 different dimensions, known as the “Fluffy”, “Heavy”, “Slow” and “Levitating” dimensions. Fluffy and Slow are the first dimensions you begin with, where you’ll be able to make everything very light and fluffy, allowing you to pick up heavy safes, tables and even sofas. This dimension allows you to take heavy objects over to buttons that will allow a door to open or for something to activate. You can even throw something heavy in the fluffy dimension at some glass, and before it hits the glass, leave the dimension and the glass will break. It’s very clever stuff but it soon grows tired very quickly. The slow dimension will, of course, slow down time, allowing you the time to solve the quickest of problems. The heavy dimension will make everything 10 times heavier, so if you have nothing but a cardboard box and a button in front of you, and the button requires something heavy, just place the box on the button and enter the heavy dimension. Finally, the levitating dimension changes the gravity, making certain objects levitate in the air (apart from you of course). I love this dimension, because when you throw something across the room and you jump on it, it’s always a delight to just continuously switch through the dimensions and glide through the air. The game introduces you to these dimensions a bit at a time, and too right they should, or else the gameplay would get very old very fast. If there’s one thing I do have with the gameplay is the way you solve puzzles. Some puzzles are increasingly hard, and sometimes force you to throw objects in the air and quickly jump onto them and hope that you have enough leverage to make it to “that ledge”. The problem with the gameplay is that you can just barely solve the puzzles. When making a game, there should always be a solid way to solve the puzzle as well as some sneaky ones. In this game, I didn’t get that sense, and you were always forced to solve the puzzle the hardest way possible. With the FOV being what it is too in first-person, it’s a little hard to jump onto objects without falling off them. That’s not to say all the puzzles are like that; some puzzles tend to get really interesting, and some of them do indeed make you think before you act. I’m glad that the developers added a system where you can go back and replay levels because sometimes it’s always fun to be competitive against your own stats. Collectables are also in the game, and unlike most games where you just collect an item and you never see it again, this game will take your collectables and place them around the main section of the manor. So kind. The game doesn’t have the best graphics, but that’s not too much of a problem as the game seems to fit around the 12 year old boy itself. The game is almost like a child’s imagination, making the art style fit perfectly with this type of game. Going back to my earlier comment of the game “borrowing” from other media, the game does this in a very small way. Throughout the mansion, you’ll find books that are named after famous TV shows, films and even other books, for example, Time-Lord of the Rings… how had nobody thought of that? It’s even a delight to look at pictures around the manor as they change depending on what dimension you are in. Quantum Conundrum was a nice try to make it the next Portal, and whilst I would like to see more, there’s nothing amazingly special about this game just yet. The game has it’s flaws, but it also has it’s good moments, but as far as the developers trying to get you’re money, I’m not all to happy with them about that. Watch the very first moments of the game in the video below: [youtube id=”rOuWduHX0ng” width=”600″ height=”350″]

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About the Author

Some say I should be a video game journalist, others say a video game designer. Shame you can't be both.

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