Quantum Conundrum

8.7 Overall Score

Whimsical Graphics | Fun Puzzles to Solve

No Co-op | Can get Repetitive

As a 12 year old boy, most are not thrown into a puzzle filled mansion where they have to figure out how to get through a room and use the puzzling words of their uncle, who is piped through the intercom system, to help them. Yet this is exactly what occurs in the new Square Enix puzzler Quantum Conundrum. The game is currently available on Steam, Playstation Network and Xbox Live Arcade. Airtight Games and Kim Swift created this game. You may recognize Kim’s name from being one of the creators of Valve’s Portal 1.

Having entered Quadwrangle Manor, you realize that your uncle, Professor Fitz Quadwrangle (voiced by John de Lancie), has somehow gone missing and is lost within an altered dimension. Now there are a couple of things that become quite evident when you are a 12 year old boy, first of all you cannot jump as high as you could if you were older and secondly, your uncle believes that he needs to talk to you in a very whimsical manner. Quadwrangle Manor is extremely colorfully and comically designed. This makes it quite endearing to look at.

Early in the game you are given an IDE (Interdimensional Shift Device); A glove that allows you to manipulate the different dimensional within the Manor. There are four dimensions that you are allowed to manipulate throughout the game; however you are not allowed to switch between them all at the beginning. The Fluffy Dimension allows everything within the room to be lifted as if it was as light as a piece of fluff. Whereas, the Heavy Dimension makes everything ten times heavier. Within the Slow Dimension, you are able to slow everything down by 10 however you keep moving at the same speed. And the final dimension is Reverse Gravity, where everything floats to the ceiling but remarkably you are not affected.

These dimensions help you to solve the different puzzles that are handed to you as you move from room to room. It could be something as simple as throwing a cardboard box at a window, which on its own would never break it; switch to Heavy dimension when the box is near the window and it is now 10 times heavier and will break the window. When you get within the Slow dimension it will allow you to get from one place to other using objects that have been slowed down, as you are not affected by the shift within the dimension. Each of the dimensional shifts have their pluses and minuses that have to be figured out as you move within them and manipulate them to be used to their greatest good to move to the end of the room.

As you are moving around the Manor, Professor Fitz Quandwranger gives you clues as to how the space became to look the way that it does. It would appear that wherever he is, at this time and space, has affected it in some manner. The pictures on the wall change when you change the different types of dimensions of the game. This can help aid you in the understanding of the dimension and also add to the quirkiness of the game. It is this Portal-esque type of humor that is seen through the entire game.

There also two very important non-playable characters that end up playing a significant role within the game. There are the Dollies, which are robotic maids created by Professor Quandwranger, to replicate safes, sofas, and chairs whenever they are needed for the puzzle that you are solving. Also you have IKE (Interdimensional Kinetic Entity), who is the mascot of the entire game. Both of these characters bring more comic relief for the time that you are playing. The Dollies never talk, but they will stick out their tongues if you walk up to them after they have spit stuff out at you. Now IKE is a bit different. He is able to eat anything around and also gives you different things that you need throughout the game. At first he is quite shy and will just drop off whatever he is hold, but that changes as the game moves along.

So how did I feel the game worked? I played Quantum Conundrum on the PC through Steam and was amazed how crisp the graphics were and how easy it was to hook up the gamepad and forget that I was even playing on a computer. I did disconnect the gamepad a few times to see if I could still navigate the game easily with the computer keys and was fascinated to find that it was not as hard as I thought it would be. The controls were easy to follow and were right there on the screen, if need be, so that was nice.

While I was playing the game I was amazed how unaffected by my dying I was. It was such a whimsical environment to be in and so easy to jump right back into the puzzle that I was just in, that it just didn’t matter to me; this is huge for me as frustrations within these types of games tends to be high for me. It did get more frustrating as the game got farther along, however those things that kept me moving along were still there and kept pushing me to move forward.

The storyline is so endearing that I found myself not wanting to put the game away. It didn’t matter if I died 20 times within one room; I was going to push forward so I could find out what was going to happen next within the Manor. I wanted to see if that was going to be the room in which there was a collectable that might make a difference within the game play or possibly another clue as to where my uncle could possibly be located at. Both the Dollies and Ike were interactive enough that I wanted to see what they were going to do next within the room. I, at times, even found myself talking to them; not that it did anything to the interactions that I was going to have with them.

There were a couple things within the game that caused it to fall a bit short for me. I found that there were times that I felt that it was almost a “been here done that” feeling to it. It was true that I was in a different room and that the puzzles that I were solving were different but the physics that were required to get them accomplished were the same as ones that I had done before. Maybe I had to string a couple of dimensions together but it didn’t really require me to use much brain power. It was the ones that I had to really think, that I found myself enjoying. If I could quickly run through the room, I felt as if there hadn’t had been as much attention to detail put into that room. I also was left wishing that I could play co-op with a friend. Be it in room or online. Having someone to help me out would have been nice. I understand that with a story line that you are just an young boy looking for his uncle it would have felt odd to have co-op but it would have been nice.

At the price of $14.99 for Steam, $15 for the Playstation Network, and 1200 Microsoft Point ($15) for Xbox Live Arcade, and about 5 to 7 hours of total game play, Quantum Conundrum is worth this price. There are two download extension planned for the game in the near future bringing the total for the game to $20. Of course you don’t have to purchase the downloadable content but it will continue the story and the fun that has already been had.

A review copy of Quantum Conundrum was supplied to the Married Gamers for the purposes of this review

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Author: Kelly Brown View all posts by

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