July 8, 2012

Review – Quantum Conundrum

Review Quantum Conundrum
Conundrums exist all around us. Just this morning, I puzzled over a way to make coffee without getting out of bed – though maybe that’s more of a daily annoyance than a true conundrum.

The conundrums offered up by Kim Swift and Airtight Games tend to challenge players to navigate rooms of perilous lasers and other hazards in order to activate pressure switches to open the way forward. And the ludicrous scientific adventure that unfolds draws quick comparisons through the gameplay and Swift to Portal, which makes it rather easy to suggest that if you loved Portal, you’re in fine hands here.

There are plenty of similarities to discover whilst visiting the eccentric Professor Fitz Quadwrangle, voiced by Star Trek The Next Generation’s John De Lancie, who offers companionship with a disembodied voice that continually comments on situations and regales players with the history of the Quadwrangle family, as well as his own scientific accomplishments.

Key among the similarities are the aforementioned pressure switches that require the constant manipulation of recurring objects. Conundrums often involve finding the means to cross dangerous environments as well, continually mixing these two challenges to create rooms that do something familiar – find me wandering off to do something else until suddenly realizing the solution and running back to the computer to test my hypothesis.

Whenever a game gets under my skin that much, I figure it must be doing something right.


May 3, 2011

Review – Portal 2

Filed under: Reviews — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — Brad Johnson @ 8:53 am

Portal 2
I think it’s fair to say that probably every game is made, at least in part, by committee. The results can be fairly obvious; it’s easy to see when some executive has made the decision to pursue a Call of Duty or a Gears of War.

Valve, by contrast, produces perhaps the purest product available on the current market; the games where it’s clear that most decisions have been made in the interest of making the best videogame possible.

Portal 2 exemplifies this condition; it is pure game, straight through, with each facet specifically calibrated to produce what, undoubtedly, becomes an instant classic the moment the disc enters the tray.

The sequel returns the player to the life of Chell, unknown Aperture test subject, as she awakes hundreds of years after the events of the original game, once again trapped in the Aperture facility. If this change of circumstance is somewhat mystifying, then I recommend reviewing the updated ending to Portal (dispensed via Valve-patch), or better yet, reading the online comic bridging the events of the two games.


Powered by WordPress