Windows 7/Vista/XP (Xbox Live, PSN)
ESRB rating: Everyone
Review rating: 4.0 stars
I admit that puzzle games didn't interest me until "Portal" came along. Apparently, all it took was a coherent set of physics-based puzzles to make me as excited as Charlie Sheen on crack! Now a similar game, titled "Quantum Conundrum," has been released that's quirky and fun, but it definitely has its ups and downs.
Players take on the persona of an unnamed youth who once again finds himself at the mansion of his genius uncle, Professor Quadwrangle. Only this time, the science guy has accidentally transported himself into an alternate dimension, and it's up to his nephew to make things right again. Sadly, the storyline is the least enjoyable portion of the game.
Visually, the game looks similar to a Saturday morning cartoon complete with oversized furniture and complicated tubes filled with glowing liquids. Conveyor belts wind through the house, and giant vats of acid fill certain rooms. In addition to cardboard boxes to play with, players will discover that this mansion has more hidden safes tucked away than Mitt Romney!
Players can use Quadwrangle's Inter-Dimensional Shift device (or IDS) to alter physics in four distinct ways. The physics-based fun begins with the Fluffy dimension that makes everything lighter, and soon the self-explanatory Heavy dimension becomes available. Eventually, players get to utilize the Slow-Mo dimension to slow everything down, and the Reverse Gravity dimension throws everything up to the ceiling!
Even though the game seems to be designed for a younger audience, the puzzles become more and more complex, to the point of being downright maddening! Sometimes the answers are painfully obvious, while other times it takes split-second timing and lots of trial-and-error to make it to the next area. I am not complaining though, because figuring out the solution to each puzzle is a large part of what makes "Quantum Conundrum" so enjoyable.