|System: PC, PS3, Xbox 360|
|Dev: Airtight Games|
|Pub: Square Enix|
|Release: June 21, 2012|
|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.
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.
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.
Date: June 22, 2012