Developed by:Airtight Games Published by:Square Enix Genre(s):
  • Puzzle
  • Platform:
  • Microsoft
  • PC
  • Sony
  • Cost:$14.99 ESRB Rating:EVERYONE Players:1 Release date:June 21, 2012 Reviewed on:PC

    Quantum Conundrum

    What happens when you take the awesome puzzle gameplay from Portal, remove all of its portals and add multiple game changing dimensions? You get Quantum Conundrum, one of the coolest puzzle games out right now!

    In Quantum Conundrum you take control of a young boy who is dropped off at his uncle’s house to keep him company. His uncle happens to be a brilliant inventor by the name of Professor Fitz Quadwrangle. This visit is different as the professor has somehow gotten trapped in another dimension while working on an experiment. Upon your arrival, the professor tasks you with using the Inter-dimensional Shift Device (IDS) to help him get back to our dimension. The IDS is a powerful glove that has the ability to shift your surroundings though dimensions while keeping you safe in ours.  Changing dimensions changes the properties of items in a room (make them lighter, heavier, etc.). Changing the properties of items allows you to manipulate them to help you get to places that are otherwise unreachable. In order to rescue the professor, you agree to use this dangerous invention throughout his large mansion.

    For those that don’t know, Quantum Conundrum (QC) is a first-person puzzle game from Square Enix that’s similar to the Portal series. This makes sense seeing as how Kim Swift, co-creator of Portal 2, was hired as QC’s project lead. With that said, the game still manages to stay unique in its approach to puzzle solving. One thing to note is how easy QC is to pick up and play. Airtight Games went the extra mile to make sure anyone could jump in with little fuss; even for the people who may not be the most efficient with a keyboard and a mouse (such as myself). At any point you can plug in an Xbox 360 controller; the buttons automatically configure to the new peripheral. Either way, you’ll be able to figure out the puzzles without fighting the controls.

    Of course, you don’t start out with the IDS at full power. One dimension is given at the start with the others being introduced over time. Each dimension has a few tutorial puzzles to help you understand what they are capable of. For instance, switching to the Fluffy dimension changes the properties of normal items to match that of cotton balls. This allows you to pick up items that were once too heavy to lift. The available dimensions are shown at the bottom of the screen and are labeled by different buttons. This makes switching back and forth between them relatively easy. Again, anyone can jump in and start their search for the professor.

    That doesn’t mean the game isn’t challenging though. The puzzles featured in this game can be very difficult to solve, especially after you’ve unlocked all of the available dimensions. What’s funny is that that’s when the real fun starts. The fact that you’ll have to switch between multiple dimensions (usually in quick succession) really tests your creativity. For instance, one puzzle requires you to cross over an obstacle to get to the other side of a room. Changing the dimension to Fluffy will allow you to pick and throw a safe. Then, while it’s in the air, switching to Slow will make it slowly float. This gives you time to run and jump on it. Once on the safe, switching back to the normal dimension will cause it to careen over the obstacle and land on the other side of the room…with you on it. The feeling of accomplishment gained when you finally succeed is awesome!

    The puzzles usually have the same goal; use your dimensions to get a weight to a scale which opens a door. Naturally, over the course of the game, getting the weight to the scale becomes more and more difficult. Airtight Games didn’t want to just leave you hanging, so they partnered you with a furry friend called Ike. Without any hand-holding, he’ll help you solve puzzles; where you see Ike is usually where you have to go. With all the possibilities and increasing difficulty of stages dying is almost a guarantee, but dying isn’t always a bad thing. At some points you may even find yourself dying on purpose. After you die there is a loading screen that has comments from a list of “things you will never experience”, which is guaranteed to get a laugh.

    Like with Portal, when the main story ends it does not mean the game is over. There is a level select mode that you can access as soon as you finish a level. In the level select mode there is a shift goal which tasks you with completing the level with the least amount of dimensional shifts possible and a time goal where you must complete the level in the shortest time possible. There is an overall leaderboard and an individual leaderboard which pits your high score against the world.

    QC has other things going for it other than the cool puzzle gameplay. For one, it uses a cartoon art style full of vibrant colors that just fit beautifully with its family friendly gameplay and music. While not heavily detailed, QC still looks great. The Character models are almost guaranteed to stay in your memory; Ike brings a smile to my face whenever I see him. The sound is where the game is really reminiscent of Portal. While you’re on your mission to find your uncle he manages to talk to you though the PA system which instantly reminded me of Glados. He does provide the same type of verbal entertainment, in a non “I’m really trying to kill you” way. The music is incredibly catchy and upbeat. With the music and chatter from Quadwrangle it does a good job of keeping you entertained in those moments between levels.

    It’s sad to say but QC does suffer from some problems. When you switch levels the game seems to lag. There is a very noticeable freeze. It’s like the next level loads when you click on a door. I guess it’s not that big of an issue but I’d prefer a smooth transition from one stage to the next. Also, on a couple of occasions there seem to be one really annoying recurring glitch. Some necessary items would randomly get stuck in the air. I was able to move them around by grabbing and throwing but they would only move a little bit at a time. There were times where I had to throw an item up to twenty times just to continue, obviously taking up a decent amount of game time. While this didn’t happen all the time, the glitch showed up enough times to be an issue.

    Quantum Conundrum can be a really fun game to play. It features interesting gameplay, cool graphics, and catchy music. It can also be funny at time. My only real issue was that it suffered from some glitches. It’s still a good value at $15 though. As it stands Quantum Conundrum is a fun, inexpensive, family friendly game!



    Quantum Conundrum is fun game to play. If it weren’t for that recurring glitch of a necessary item getting stuck in the air it would’ve gotten a higher score.



    It looks great! With the cartoon style art and vibrant colors.



    Quadwrangle can keep you entertained throughout the entire game. The music is good too!

    What's New:


    It’s pretty reminiscent of Portal. Quadwrangle is Glados and the game features multiple puzzle rooms that require you to use your abilities to reach otherwise unreachable places. Still, it’s unique enough to stand on its own as a new franchise.

    Replay Value:


    There are a couple of collectible items and leaderboards to try and beat your friend’s times. Not sure if that’s enough to keep you coming back for more.

    Final Score:


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