June 26, 2012

Book Your Dimensional Travel Now

Lasting First Impressions of Quantum Conundrum from Airtight Games

QC BoxartIt’s unusual these days to find games that don’t rely heavily on combat

or violence, where the main challenge is in using your mind to solve the mysteries of the game’s environment.  Fez and Journey are two recent titles that fit into this category but these games are certainly few and far between. So when Kim Swift, the creative mind behind the venerable Portal series, creates another puzzle-based game, the gaming world sits up and takes notice.  I am speaking, of course, about Airtight Games’ new title, Quantum Conundrum, a decidedly devious diversion of dimensionally displaced dilemmas.

When I first learned that Kim was working on a new title, I was immediately intrigued and moreso even when I read about the concept that would become Quantum Conundrum.  I had the privilege of playing part of the game during my time at PAX East 2012, but it was definitely not enough. Even then, the game was fully immersive and begging me to spend more time with it.  But, alas, our time was cut short and we were forcefully separated until its official unveiling to the world.  That day finally arrived last week when the PC version was released via Steam (XBLA and PSN versions will follow in July) and my love of all things puzzle could be satiated once again.

QC screen 1

In Quantum Conundrum, you play an intrepid young hero thrust into the duties of finding, and untimiately rescuing, your dimensionally lost, but brilliant inventor Uncle (perfectly portrayed by the inimitable John De Lancie).  Armed only with his Interdimensional Shift Device (IDS), you must switch between dimensions and solve the puzzles that his seemingly unending mansion serves up.  Dimensions such as the Fluffy Dimension, in which everything is made of light feathery softness, the Anti-Gravity dimension, where everything floats upwards, and even the Heavy Dimension where everything is made of steel, all await your quizzical, problem-solving mind.

With all the hype surrounding Quantum Conundrum in the time from its announcement to its arrival, one might speculate that the anticipation has created a much larger game than could be delivered.  Not so with Quantum Conundrum.  The puzzles presented here are just as witty and, well, puzzling as we had seen in the Portal series.  Once I was able to sit down and begin playing through this title, I lost all track of time and was completely immersed in the game, moving from one room to another, solving puzzle after puzzle.  Switching between dimensions on the fly becomes like second nature almost immediately and most puzzles will require the use of multiple dimensions in order to solve.  Be ready to truly stretch your thinking here because these puzzle are not easy but incredibly satisfying once solved.

QC screen 2

Quantum Conundrum supports both keyboard/mouse controls or gamepad controls. Personally I found using an Xbox controller much more intuitive but that’s just personal preference.  The developers behind Quantum Conundrum truly took immersion to the next level in this game.  For example, if you have an Alienware PC with LCD backlit keys, the game will take control of your colour themes while you play and change the colour of your keyboard to match the dimension you’re in. I was completely mesmerized by this addition to the game.  When a developer takes the time to add something that only select individuals will experience, you know you’ve stumbled upon a gem.

Quantum Conundrum is full of surprises at every turn and the details here are unending. Be sure to stop at every painting found throughout the mansion as Uncle will gladly tell you about what you’re looking at.  Additionally, be sure to take a look at each portrait in every dimension as they are never the same in each.  There is nothing about this game that can be called incomplete. The developers truly loved creating this new world and it shows in every little detail. If you are a fan of action/puzzle games, very similar to the world of Portal, you will not want to pass this title by.  Quantum Conundrum is ripe for future DLC containing more puzzles and perhaps even more dimensions to wrap our brains around. Either way, I will gladly return to the mansion anytime.

Airtight Games, I gave you an hour and I am mesmerizingly IMPRESSED.

About the Author

Sean is an avid gamer and lover of all thing tech. He is a dedicated husband and the father to three beautiful daughters. In addition to taking his love of gaming to a new level with this site, Sean is also host of our podcasts: The OMG! Hour, Lost Treasures of Gaming, and Primetime as well as the bi-weekly podcast mashup show, Gamers Unscripted. Follow Sean on Twitter as @Xiantayne and this blog as @OMGnexus.



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