Quantum Conundrum is the latest mind-boggling adventure from designer Kim Swift, who is well known for her work on the puzzle masterpiece Portal. Her latest creation, Quantum Conundrum (QC) has lots of Portal vibes, but it doesn't contain teleportation. Instead, Quantum focuses on entirely new dimensions, offering a fresh new puzzle adventure. It might not offer the same puzzle genius as Portal, but QC is still a delightful brain teaser.
The game takes place in a enormous mansion, owned by a professor, named Fitz Quadwrangle. You play as his small nephew, who has been dropped off at his front door step. As you first step into his giant mansion, you realise there's something amiss. For one, your uncle is nowhere in sight. A big explosion also goes off as you arrive, and that doesn't help matters. This leaves you searching
for your mad uncle, whilst tackling puzzles, using his latest invention.
The games plays a lot like Portal. Set in a first person perspective, you must move to an area, complete a puzzle, then move to the next. You will be picking up objects, dropping them onto buttons, placing them over laser beams etc. If you've played Portal, Quantum Conundrum should be an easy pick up and play.
You are equipped with your uncle's latest creation, the IDS (or interdimensional shift) device. This allows you to switch between different dimensions. There are four dimensions in total, with you earning them as you progress. You first begin with fluffy dimension, which makes objects light as a feather. Triggering it will allow you to carry objects, like sofas, tables, metal boxes and more. Some puzzles will require you to press a button, which is activated by weight. This will have you picking up an object in fluffy, placing the object on the button, then turning off fluffy dimension. Later on, you will gain the heavy dimension, which turns everything 10x heavier. Most of the puzzles will require you to switch between both, fluffy and heavy dimensions. For example. You might come across a glass window. This will require you to throw an object in fluffy, then switch to heavy, sending it smashing through a pane of glass.
With it's cartoon styled theme, it's obvious that designer Kim Swift wanted (QC) to be a more light hearted puzzle platformer. But it doesn't mean the puzzles are all easy. It will leave the cogs spinning in your head at times. You will eventually gain the remaining two dimensions, which are slow-mo and gravity, and it's much more tricky to accomplish. Although, the actually level design is very complex, and it's not to the depth of Portal. That doesn't mean Quantum Conundrum isn't worth playing. If you've completed the Portal series and are looking for a fresh new puzzle adventure, (QC) is going to satisfy in every way.
Review by Gareth Smith