Preview: Quantum Conundrum
A puzzle platformer with adorable characters and multidimensional shenanigans? Slowing time, reversing gravity and the fluffy dimension? Yes. Yes please ma’am.
You know Portal? Remember how you felt the first time you played it? Well that mindless joy that you’ve never since been able to re-create with petty human relationships and narcotics was in part due to a lady named Kim Swift, co-creator of Portal. That’s it. That’s all I need to say about her. Here are the deets;
Name: Quantum Conundrum
Genre: Puzzle \ Platformer \ Adventure \ Thingy
Platforms: PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Developers: Airtight Games
Publishers: Square Enix
Release Date: 21 June 2012 on PC, later in the year for PS3 and Xbox 360
Okay, I will say one more thing… in picture form:
Don’t think too hard about the biology involved, it gets… confusing. Instead watch the trailer above and then, with mild but pleasant confusion, continue reading.
Quantum Conundrum is the upcoming indie puzzle \ platformer thing coming from Portal’s co-creator, Kim Swift. The game looks adorable and fluffy and funny and charming and not involving the military in any way and is basically the breath of fresh air you didn’t know you were craving.
You are a guy, young kid, a dude if you will, who is dropped off at his crazy inventor grandfather’s house for a visit. He doesn’t greet you, he isn’t there to welcome you and now it’s up to you to find out why he’s gone, where he is, and why his inventions haven’t made him the richest man alive — several times over.
You pick up one of his most recent pieces of technological ass: the Interdimensional Shift Device, the IDS. This device lets you move between the different dimensions at will, letting you navigate through the mansion solving puzzles with explosions going off behind you in slow motion while The Who plays really loudly. Seriously, there’s a slow time dimension. These dimensions are all replications of our normal world but with specific twists. There is the aforementioned bullet-time dimension, there is a reverse gravity dimension, and there is a fluffy dimension. There are more but we’re going to try and be relatively spoiler free here, but to illustrate the wonderful humour of the game, here is a comparison of one of the in game paintings between the normal and the fluffy dimensions.
That’s right, bunny costume.
There are a few important things going for Quantum Conundrum. Firstly, the aforementioned talent behind the game combined with the potential on display is nothing if not promising. The game is completely unique and off the beaten path. I’m looking forward to all the AAA titles coming along at the end of the year but sometimes, just sometimes, it’s really nice to play something completely different. There is a reason I re-play Mirror’s Edge every so often. There is nothing quite like it. Then we have the fact that the game is coming out during the normal dry spell of the year: 21st of June (like 8 days away for those of you reading this in an intoxicated state or who are just too lazy to do math, don’t worry, I had my brother check my calculations) which is awesome. Finally there is the price: a lowly $15.00 or R127.00 on Steam. If you pre-order, you get a further 10% off.
The game is charming, funny and genuinely interesting and is largely still a mystery. If the low price and the little seen here are not enough to convince you I think they aren’t going to force the situation. The mystery is part of the appeal. What are the other dimensions? Who and where is my grandfather? What new little piece of humour is waiting around the bend? I am going through my usual mid-year spat of boredom with standard gaming, something that always dissipates as the AAA titles start to release at year’s end, but for now this piece of unique gaming pie is exactly what I’m hungry for.
The guys over at IGN made a preview of the game that explains its dynamics while letting you see the thing in motion which is, after all, the greatest deciding factor before a purchase.
I’ve been burned before, just looking at my Risen 2 preview we can see how easy it is to believe and then be disappointed by the finished product but when we stop believing, we die inside. Blind hope and optimism should never die, they should just become tempered with experience and wisdom as we gain it.
I do not believe all games will be good, but I believe this one will be. At the very least, it will be an entertaining few hours of fun — for the price tag I don’t need any more. I know Pascal’s wager, I understand that it is safer and more logical to assume the worst and be pleasantly surprised. If I were a robot that’s exactly what I’d do, but I’m not. I’m a human being, a fleshy, squishy meatsack of emotions. I live and love with irrational passion and mindless, illogical hope.
I pre-ordered happily.