Quantum Conundrum Review
Everybody has that crazy uncle.
Kim Swift, co-creator of the original Portal, returns to the puzzle-action scene with Airtight’s new downloadable title, Quantum Conundrum. Quantum Conundrum drops the idea of dynamic doorway creation in favor of inter-dimensional shifting to allow you to navigate through each level. We had a chance to visit a few new dimensions recently and are confident that you’ll also be left wondering how you only paid $15 for this much fun.
While inevitable Portal 2 comparisons abound, it wouldn’t be doing Quantum Conundrum any justice to simply say this is Portal without the portals. The action is quite similar to that of the Portal series, and fans of Portal will love this game, but the puzzles require an entirely different frame of mind to complete. In fact, I often found that the puzzles were difficult because I was over-thinking them while the solution was staring right at me. That isn’t to say the puzzles are easy, it was more like I was being led into over thinking them.
Quantum Conundrum is a first person action game that puts you in the shoes of a young boy who has been dropped off at his uncle’s house for a bit of a visit. Uncle Qwadrangle spends most of his time locked away in his mansion creating crazy inventions and just as you are arriving he manages to trap himself in an alternate dimension. Luckily he can still talk to you through the manor’s intercom system to provide condescending, but sometimes encouraging, feedback.
You’ll be armed with the IDS, a glove that allows you to shift dimensions if there is a specific dimensional power source in the area. You’ll start off by only being able to access the Fluffy dimension. In this dimension every thing is lighter than normal so you’ll be able to move objects around with ease. Objects like one of the twenty, or so, thousand safes your uncle has lying around.
The mansion doesn’t change a whole lot during your visit and the set pieces stay fairly constant as well so there isn’t a lot of variety to your surroundings but this is noted and explained away by your uncle so at least Airtight are in on the joke. This level of consistency is actually a clever device to give you the tools to quickly begin each puzzle, even if you can’t quickly solve it. Much like Portal had its turrets and companion cubes, Quantum Conundrum has its safes and sofas.
The complexity of the puzzles is what makes them satisfying to solve. You’ll often be shifting between a number of dimensions very quickly to achieve you goal. For instance, you have to switch to Fluffy to pick up a safe and throw it across a gap, switch to the slow time dimension to jump on the safe and get across the gap, then switch to the heavy dimension so the safe will crash through a window. Quantum Conundrum makes you feel intelligent for doing crazy things.
There are no multiplayer modes in Quantum Conundrum.
I’ve tried to avoid drawing too many comparisons but if you were a fan of Portal, go get Quantum Conundrum. That should be enough for a lot of you but if you haven’t played the Portal games, or aren’t really into puzzle games, you should absolutely give this game a shot. The constant commentary from your dear uncle is entertaining, the puzzles are well crafted and their solutions take timing, a keen eye and a quick mind to solve. Quantum Conundrum is quite lengthy for a $15 game and a lot of fun too.