E3 2012 – Quantum Conundrum Hands On
As I walked up to play Quantum Conundrum at the Square Enix booth, I had a feeling that the experience was going to be akin to playing Portal or Portal 2. I mean, I knew that Kim Swift, one of the lead designers behind Portal had started up her own company to make the game, and that would be an influence to the design. And those thoughts would be correct, as there is a lot of flavor from the Portal titles, but Quantum Conundrum changing the formula up enough to feel fresh and inviting, and after playing through an early stage of the game, I can see Quantum Conundrum being a huge hit for Square Enix at release.
The demo for Quantum Conundrum started off easy enough, as it taught us the ropes of movement and whatnot, and then brought us to the first time we get to see the dimensional shift in action. Here, a device in the house of our uncle, Professor Quadrangle, had broken as was sending a wave of trans-dimenional property through this area of the house. When the wave would come through, it would change things to fluffiness, which would make things extremely light. A few seconds later and the wave would shift and normal weight would be reinstated. The idea was that we had to put something weighted on a platform to open the door to the next room. So I waited for the Fluffy wave to come through, picked up a safe in the room and ran it over to the platform and dropped it. When the normal wave came through, the safe regained its normal weight and the door opened.
We had a couple of puzzles like this until we came across the tool that you will use for most of the game, the Interdimensional Shift Device. This device allows us to shift the dimensional properties around us into one of several states on the fly, rather than waiting for a wave to come through and change it. But we had to load it with the dimensional properties we need in order to make use of the ISD. So searching around a bit, I found the Fluffy Dimensional pod, and used it to move some heavy crates around to get to a higher platform and exit to another room.
Things got interesting down in the next area as I picked up the Heavy dimensional plug in. Here I had to get to the next room to exit the area and continue on our merry way. But all I had in the room were a couple of safes and no doors. However, I did have a large window looking into the next room. This is the point where Quantum Conundrum really comes into its own with craft puzzles that make you think. Sure, this was not a difficult puzzle to put together in your mind, as I used the Fluffy dimension to pick up a safe and then throw it, only to switch to the Heavy dimension just in time to have the safe crash through the window and move on to the next room.
Puzzles like those are where a game like Quantum Conundrum will either thrive or die and the fact that the puzzles only started to become more slick in their design and style that I started to see that Quantum Conundrum is one of those titles that will have people creating all sorts of unique solutions to problems. Look at the videos that people have made for some of the more off the wall solutions for Portal 2 puzzles and I can see the same happening for Quantum Conundrum when fans get the game. Kim Swift and her team at Airtight Games have put together a type of game that has a whimsical art style and fiendish puzzle design that should sit on people’s playlist for months to come.
E3 Trailer for Quantum Conundrum
Fun with Physics – Matter