Quantum Conundrum is a colorful first-person puzzle game developed by Airtight Games, the creators of Dark Void and published by Square Enix, that turns the puzzle genre inside out… Almost literally. Down is up, heavy is light, light is heavy, and time is slow in this game of nearly infinite possibilities.
The game starts you off in your uncle’s mansion for a visit. A somewhat normal-ish (The guy’s a mad scientist… normal isn’t his thing.) visit slowly turns into an adventure into the mansion to save your uncle from the “pocket dimension.” You grab your uncle’s invention, the IDS glove, which gives the player the ability to shift between 4 different dimensions. Depending on the power you use, the physics will change. Reverse Gravity, Heavy, Fluffy(or light), and Slow Time dimensions. The player then goes through wings of the mansion to reactivate the generators to return power to the rest of the building and find your uncle.
Quantum Conundrum‘s story isn’t terrible, but it isn’t as refined as it could be, especially they ending which leaves you with a few unanswered questions. It is possible that some of these questions will be answered with future DLC but there’s no telling whether or not that will happen. As you make your way through the puzzles, you’re guided(and insulted) by your uncle whose humor closely resembles that of Cave Johnson from Portal 2.
The puzzles range anywhere from easy as hell to nightmarish in terms of difficulty. Sometimes the player must get creative to get to where they need to go and in some cases, you can find new and quicker ways to finish a puzzle which is quite rewarding. From personal experience, I did run into a small handful of glitches that made it almost impossible to proceed. Luckily, a quick revert to my last checkpoint remedied most of those issues.
Like most games nowadays, Quantum Conundrum comes with a leaderboard, collectables, and interesting achievements(And rewards, for PS3 people) that all add quite a bit of replayability. I for one could spend hours trying to beat my old scores and push my way up the leaderboard for bragging rights. I’m ranked 3rd in the world for the “Needle In A Haystack” puzzle for the 360. I dare you to beat that shit.
Quantum Conundrum uses a Portal-like simplistic control scheme to help with the mind bending abilities that can sometimes be hard to keep track of. Although your active powers are shown on your screen, it can still be somewhat hard to keep track on what’s what at first. But this is minor problem that can be fixed with a little experience. Fans of Portal will almost immediately be on par with the controls as well as the physics as they are fairly similar in many ways, though they aren’t entirely the same.
Quantum Conundrum‘s story is slightly lacking and the ending leaves something to be desired but the colorful environments, crazy puzzles, and the commentary from your uncle as you make your way through the house makes it worth the $15 you’ll pay. In short, it’s Portal without the annoying and overused quote about frosted confectionery treats… You know what one I’m talking about. Fans of puzzle games should not pass this one up.