Quantum Conundrum Review
Quantum Conundrum Box Art
System: PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Dev: Airtight Games
Pub: Square Enix
Release: June 21, 2012
Players: 1
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p Comic Mischief

Whereas Portal has a clinical feel, with a savage undercurrent of violence and dark humor, Quantum Conundrum goes for a whimsical and quirky vibe that reminded me a little of Psychonauts. (Both games share the "little kid with superpowers at his disposal" element.) It doesn't quite pull it off. The graphics, delivered via Unreal 3 instead of the Source engine, present the house to you in warm, welcoming colors, but there isn't very much variety in the environments. The music has a bass-heavy, jazzy feel, but at times it can be cheesy and annoying. And worst of all, your uncle, Professor Quadwrangle, just isn't nearly as funny as GLaDOS, Wheatley, or Cave Johnson. His humor sounds forced and dorky.

Quantum Conundrum Screenshot

Basically, when it comes to presentation, as opposed to mechanics and level design, Quantum Conundrum simply pales in comparison with Portal, not to mention Portal 2. Though to be fair, given Quantum Conundrum's price, the former is a much fairer point of comparison.

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The controls here are basically what you'd expect for a first-person game, though Portal fans might be a little put off by one decision if they play on PC. Because there's no portal gun here, the developers were free to use the mouse buttons for whatever they wanted. They chose to use them for picking up items, throwing them, and interacting with the environment. Most PC gamers are used to pushing the E button for basic interactions, and that's a hard habit to break. So, picky gamers with options might want to wait for the XBLA and PSN versions of Quantum Conundrum, which are due out next month.

Quantum Conundrum is by no means a perfect game. But it's an incredibly enjoyable one that preserves the spirit of Portal, introduces some fascinating new mechanics, and provides players with a great new set of puzzles. At $15, that's a steal, plain and simple.

By
Robert VerBruggen
Contributing Writer
Date: June 22, 2012

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.5
Graphics
The colors are warm and inviting, but the environments don't have much variety.
4.0
Control
They're standard, though basic interactions should have been mapped differently.
2.8
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The jazzy songs can be kind of annoying.
4.5
Play Value
The campaign is short, but it's great, and the price is low.
4.3
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Engaging Puzzle Gameplay: Using the Inter-Dimensional Shift Device, players will shift to and from various dimensions to manipulate the world around them and clear levels with increasing degrees of difficulty.
  • Experience New Dimensions: Each dimension the player gains access to becomes a valuable asset to manipulate objects in the manor in a specific way. For example, the Fluffy Dimension makes heavy objects ten times lighter, enabling players to move what was once an immovable safe from one place to the next.
  • Immersive, Interactive Environment: In addition to the various dimensions allowing the player to learn new skills and techniques, the look and feel of each dimension is completely distinct. When shifting to the Fluffy Dimension, everything in the room becomes soft and plushy like a cuddly version of its previous state. Every dimension carries its own atmosphere, letting the player feel like they are truly in the world.
  • Unique Art Style and Humor: The Professor's manor and all the items within it have a unique style, but that's not all. Players should be on the lookout for humorous touches and jokes scattered throughout the manor home. Who wouldn't want to know what the infamous Professor Quadwrangle looks like in the Fluffy Dimension?


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