Quantum Conundrum Review (PC)

Posted by Jim Cook, Aug 14, 2012 20:17

Quantum Conundrum is the sort of game that immediately draws comparisons to Portal. While the abilities available to you are different, they’re similar in that you use special science/physics related powers to reach the end of several levels played from a first person perspective. Taking the role of a child visiting a seemingly ’mad scientist’ relative, you gain access to a gradually increasing set of ’powers’ to modify the world around you. Since your character is otherwise very mundane, most puzzles rely on you figuring out which combination of physics tweaks to use to finish the stage.

Quantum Conundrum (PC)The first person controls are pretty simple, consisting of the usual moving, turning, strafing, and jumping. They’re expanded over time by a special glove that taps into alternate dimensions, ones that cause the entire area around you to have new attributes. The earliest examples consist of simply making objects lighter or heavier, but you gain more nuanced ones later on. The developers did a good job pacing the puzzles, as the ones immediately after you gain a new ability are built to show you how to use it on its own, followed by combinations, then expecting you to figure out the remaining challenges in an area mostly on your own (some hints are given for particularly ambitious puzzles, though).

While your physics powers are the focus of most challenges, they won’t be enough on their own. In a seemingly odd move for this kind of game, Quantum Conundrum does ask for good timing and reflexes on a fairly regular basis. You might be asked to make everything in the area very light in order to pick them up and throw them, then make them heavy in mid-air so they can crash through a window that was previously barring your way. Some platforming will come up too, though most of these segments are not particularly hard once you have a feel for how your character moves.

Don’t let that scare you off, as mistakes aren’t much of a problem. It’s usually fine if you time something incorrectly or end up throwing an important item into a bottomless pit, since there is almost always a switch nearby. Pressing it causes lost equipment to return, and even death isn’t a particularly bad thing; you often restart pretty close to where it happened so you can try again. Quantum Conundrum generally wants you to win; it won’t just hand you an easy victory, but it’s not cruel.

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Our Rating for Quantum Conundrum Review (PC)
5.0 Replay
While the puzzles are obviously pretty linear and may not be much fun to play again, there are several hidden items to track down.
7.5 Graphics
While not as detailed as some contemporary games, the playful art style and generally good design make it easy to keep track of what you’re doing.
8.0 Sound
A passable soundtrack is offset by good sound effects and top-notch voice work that add some very welcome humor.
8.5 Gameplay
Figuring out which physics powers to use, and when, is satisfying. Most rooms will keep you busy for a few minutes at a time, keeping players moving forward at a good pace. There may be some areas where you don’t quite understand what’s expected of you until you blunder onto the right idea, though. Some repetition in puzzle themes is also a little disappointing, but there is more to enjoy than dislike here.
0.0 Multiplayer/Online Content
N/A; this is a single-player game. One supposes you could get ’co-op play’ from it by having someone sit with you and discuss solutions, though.
8.5 Overall
Lighthearted and enjoyable, Quantum Conundrum is a satisfying puzzle game at a good price.

Rating: 0.0, votes: 0

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