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[E3] Hands-On Preview: Quantum Conundrum

From the creative mind of Kim Swift (Portal) and Airtight Games (Dark Void) comes Quantum Conundrum. You already know it’s going to be good. If you adore Portal and puzzle platformers like it, you’re in for a real treat with this. Comedy, wit, and ingenious gameplay all wrap together to make up this dimension bending adventure.


You play a twelve year old boy whose uncle, Professor Fitz Quadwrangle, is an eccentric scientist/ inventor. You arrive at his mansion when your uncle mysteriously disappears and you have to set out to find him using his special invention. It’s all set in first person and allows the player to control dimensions to solve puzzles. You can make everything (except for certain things) change in a number of ways to manipulate your path. Light things can become heavy with the heavy gravity power, heavy can become light with the fluffy power, time can slow with the slow motion power, and finally you can reverse gravity.

The preview we were shown presented us each of these powers separately and then culminated to a puzzle that required the use of all of them at once. We were told that each can be solved in a variety of different ways, so there’s no one real way to solve a puzzle in Quantum Conundrum. By using the slow motion, fluffy, and reverse gravity powers together, you can literally turn a cardboard box into a plane for your character. The amount of things you can come up with to get from point A to B is incredible and sure to require an imagination for it.

I played the PC version of the game and felt the controls exactly like Portal’s. This is a great thing, considering the ease. The difficulty I can tell will be from the puzzles themselves. Not from jumping or running around. You’re twelve years old, so the world is a bit taller than you, naturally. You can only hold two powers at once so you always have to choose wisely which you want. In the mean time, your other powers are kept at a station that you can find on each level.

Coolest thing I saw was that there was a painting in a living room area that changed depending on what power you had activated. Fluffy made the painting cute and cuddly while slow motion made it relaxing and serene on a beach. That amount of detail to the game shows how much time they put into it.

As for the characters, your uncle provides for the voice over commentary. He’ll help you during the tutorial and provide funny tidbits at other parts. That comedy is found everywhere, with even the books you spot in the game taking on references to real life literature. Heart of Black Matter, anyone? Ike is another character found in the game. He has the ability to not be effected by your dimension changing powers and has lost his mind. The furry little thing was subject to Quadwrangle’s experiments and whether or not was even furry to begin with; he’s definitely not in any normal mental state. He may prove to be more of a nuisance than an ally, it seems. Though in the preview he was simply standing around holding onto the heavy power upgrade, I can just tell. He’s evil, that little bastard.

All in all it looks like my hype for Quantum Conundrum when I first heard of it was well placed. Fun, challenging, and witty are all the perfect combinations a puzzle platformer needs to hook me. It’ll be available through Steam on June 21st.

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