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CVG
9 Reviews

Quantum Conundrum review: The creator of Portal makes a mockery of physics

An intelligent and mind-bending puzzle game

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Puzzles often incorporate platforming, which would be fine if the jumping wasn't so floaty. First-person platforming never works because you can't see your legs, and thus have no idea where you're landing, but the floatiness in QC only amplifies this feeling of disconnection. It doesn't help that when you die, you have to wait for a slow fade to black and a restart screen.
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The story sees you, a silent 12 year-old boy, trying to locate your uncle Quadwrangle in his labyrinthine mansion laboratory. He narrates the game, and is endearingly voiced by John de Lancie, better known as Q in Star Trek: The Next Generation.

The writing is pleasant enough, especially if you like science puns, but it doesn't drive you as effectively as Portal's mysterious plot did. The cheery tone, daft humour, and cute mascot (a furry creature called Ike) feels as if it's aimed squarely at kids, but we really can't see any impatient toddlers putting up with those platforming sections, or getting to grips with some of the more complex puzzles. Who's it aimed at? We really can't tell.

The mansion itself is nicely designed. We especially love the portraits of the Quadwrangle family that change as you switch dimensions. In the regular world, the professor will be in his lab coat, while in the fluffy dimension he'll be in a bunny suit. The game has loads of character and personality, but it might be a little too cutesy for the more mature gamers among you.

Niggles aside, the idea at the core of the puzzles is as solid as the heavy dimension. Playing with the physics by flipping between different worlds is immensely entertaining, and the puzzles are often masterfully designed. It's only the inconsistent physics and weightless platforming that sour the experience.

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With more precise gameplay and technical polish, this could have been a puzzle game to rival Portal, but for now that crown remains firmly on Chell's head.

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The verdict

An intelligent, original, and charming puzzler that's held back by awkward platforming and erratic physics.

  • Smart puzzle design
  • Unique concept
  • Has a lot of personality
  • Inconsistent physics
  • Floaty platforming
  • Some truly awful jokes
8
Format
PlayStation Network
Developer
Unknown
Publisher
Square Enix
Genre
Puzzle, Adventure

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