What is Quantum Conundrum? Why, it’s Portal without the portals. And with dimension shifts instead. Now, granted it’s not made by Valve, so it’s not officially Portal without portals, but Portal without portals is totally what this is. And trust me, it’s not a bad thing. Not at all.
Watching Airtight Games and Square Enix unveil this game was a nice PAX surprise, because I really had no idea what was in store for us. The main premise of Quantum Conundrum is that the player (a small boy) visits the house of his grandfather, who’s a bit of a mad scientist. He gains access to a device which lets him shift between dimensions, which changes the properties of items inside the house. You can make things lighter, slower, or reverse the gravity, but none of these things affect you, the player, thanks to the device. We got to see about ten minutes of gameplay live on stage, which you can also watch below. While it’s not the exact playthrough we saw, the levels and basic ideas are the same. Check it out, then continue on below.
The cool thing about this game is (obviously) the shifting of dimensions. Everything we saw in the demo was very basic, in order to get the point across of what they’re doing with the game, but once it hits early next year we’ll see some truly challenging and difficult levels. Making everything lighter, then picking up a safe and chucking it across the room, slowing it down and hitching a ride, then reversing the gravity to travel across a long distance is just one of the cool things that the abilities allow, and there will be at least one additional dimension that has yet to be announced.
First person puzzle games are the best kind of puzzle game if you ask me, so I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on this one. The decision to release this as an XBLA / PSN / Steam game is a smart one, because you’ll be hard pressed to find a Portal fan who won’t want to pick this up for 15 or 20 bucks. I’m curious to see the game again when it’s a little closer to release, since the demo we saw had no voices or music, which should really help with the atmosphere of the game. Chris Ballew, of The Presidents of the United States of America, will be writing the music for the game, so if you know what his music sounds like, that’s basically what we were told the soundtrack of the game will be.
Quantum Conundrum had me at first person puzzler, and completely sold me with gameplay. The only things I’m not a huge fan of are the title itself and some of the terminology. Shifting between dimensions isn’t really the same as what’s happening here, but luckily that’s just a minor annoyance. I’ll be playing this as soon as it releases, and I’ll post more videos as soon as they’re released.