You are a twelve year old boy who was unceremoniously dropped on the door step of a Mansion. As your Mother screeches off into the sunset, you’re left at the mercy of Professor Fitz Quadwrangle, a mad scientist who also happens to be your Uncle. And naturally, like any loving mad scientist Uncle would, you find he has given you an experimental prototype called the Interdimensional Shift Device or IDS for short.
Quantum Conundrum is similar to Portal in that it’s a First-Person Puzzle game where the “weapon” you carry is the device you use to solve puzzles. Other similarities include an unseen overseer callously directing your every movement in a mocking fashion and (during the time I played) genuinely surprised that you managed to get to the end of the puzzle. The differences appear when you see what your device is capable of. In Portal, you fired a projectile that would tear and stitch together a precise wormhole. In Quantum Conundrum, you effect all objects in a defined room. I only got a chance to sample three of the powers, two of them directly affected both the material of the objects resulting in different masses. How I used these in the puzzles was by throwing ‘fluffy dimension’ couches at a window and just before hitting the window, I would flip to the “Bolts and Steel” dimension resulting in the glass breaking and providing an opening for me to exit.
The other power available to me was the ability to slow time which seemed to be targeted more at platforming aspects of the game. For some odd reason, your Mad Uncle has a machine that spits out tables and safes. But the game is plenty odd enough. One particular aspect I really enjoy with Quantum conundrum is that shifting dimensions also affects attitude of people and things. Going in the “Fluffy” dimension reveals a more fluffy attitude. Take a look at the screenshot below and then scroll back up and keep an eye on the paintings.
Quantum Conundrum definitely hits all of the “Portal” boxes. It’s not going to be a very long game, but a very tight, well executed digital download available in the Summer of 2012 on PSN, XBLA and Steam. The small preview I played was an out of our sequence of different points in the game, but not once did it stop being completely fun and charming. For more Quantum Conundrum, we had a chance to sit down with Kim Swift and ask her a few questions. You can find that interview here: http://www.brainlazy.com/article/pax-east-2012/quantum-conundrum-interview-kim-swift/