In Quantum Conundrum you play as an unnamed 12 year old boy who’s been dropped off at his estranged uncle Professor Fitz Quadwrangle’s mansion. Quadrangle is a mad scientist of sorts, who creates all sorts of widgets and doo dads, and travels back in time to hunt tigers for recreation. Your visit has come somewhat unexpected, but timed appropriately since your uncle Quadrangle has managed to trap himself in what he calls, a “pocket dimension”. It’s up to you to use his experimental Interdimensional Shift Device, get three generators running, and hopefully rescue your uncle from rooms filled with cell phones and seedless strawberries covered in lint.
Quantum Conundrum is a first person puzzler that gives you the ability to control four different dimensions by use of a glove called the IDS, or Interdimensional Shift Device. The IDS cannot shift dimensions all by itself though, each dimension requires an IDS battery that coincides with each of the four specific dimension. The “Fluffy Dimension” is the embarrassingly adorable pink dimension that makes everything softer and lighter. Heavy safes can now be picked up and tossed with ease. The “Heavy Dimension” is the rust colored haven of everything bulky and heavy. Everything becomes covered with steal and can no longer be picked up, but can now withstand laser blasts. The “Slow Dimension”, also known as protracting, puts everything in a golden haze and greatly reduces it’s speed of travel. Last of the four dimensions is “Reverse Gravity”. In a dense green fog every object is lifted from the ground and floats towards the ceiling. Don’t fret though, while wearing the IDS you are not effected by any dimensional shift, giving you the freedom to accomplish whatever task is needed to complete each brain busting puzzle. The objects effected by the dimensional shifts are readily available throughout the mansion, but are sometimes only available from DOLLI’s that continually vomit out “clones” of each item for use.
The Quadrangle Mansion is a cartoonish maze of pipes, renovations, locked doors, and of course, the puzzles to open said doors. The graphics are of course sharp since everything is typically more exaggerated and larger than life. Straight lines are rarely present, making the feeling your inside Toontown ever apparent. The voice acting for Professor Quadrangle is quite entertaining, especially since he’ll readily explain the meaning of every painting you decide to stop and admire. Some of the paintings are weird to say the least, wiener dogs across multiple frames, his cat with a top hat and monocle, IKE with a balloon, and of course an abundant portraits of Quadrangle himself. These pictures will change with each dimension you shift to, making them that much more interesting.
Load times are completely absent of Quantum Conundrum, and instead take place during the activation of certain doors. Since there aren’t any load times, clipping does occur very early once entering a room, but quickly dissipate before you come in contact with any puzzles. Puzzles range from simple to brain exploding difficult. They only feel brain exploding difficult until you realize that the most basic concept was key, then you set down the controller and take a break because you’ve officially spent too much time playing and have created the impossible equation when it was simply 2+2=4. Many puzzles require crack timing switching between dimensions. Pick up the safe using “Fluffy”, toss it, “Reverse” to lift it above the science juice, which Quadrangle advises not to drink, giving it enough force to fly forward, and quickly switching to “Heavy” so it can fly undamaged through the lasers and onto a weighted platform. That’s just one example, and one that didn’t require the use of “Slow”. The puzzles are extremely creative and lean more towards the fun dynamic than frustrating. A lot of frustration for me came not from the puzzles, but from the jumping mechanics in the game. Something about them felt off, I never quite knew where my “feet” were, constantly running off of objects when I was trying to jump and never feeling quite fluid. But the physics of the game remained solid, throwing objects or watching them fall all seemed to follow the laws of physics pretty well, for a layman like myself anyways.
Quantum Conundrum is a superbly crafted puzzler. The puzzles are difficult yet fun, and comical yet refined. It’s a serious puzzler masked in a coat of bright vibrant paint and denied restrictions of right angles. The trophies/achievements are obtainable, increasing it’s replay value quite drastically, and according to my PlayStation 3′s trophies, there already appears to be two DLC’s on the way. For $15 Quantum Conundrum is a no brainer…to buy that is, I suggest use of a brain when attempting to play it.
Back to the Farm.