Airtight Games, creators of Dark Void with talent that stems from Portal and Left for Dead, along with publisher Square Enix presented their new IP at Pax, Quantum Conundrum. Quantum Conundrum is a first person platformer puzzle game where you play as a kid dropped off at your uncle’s house for ambiguous reasons and as soon as you arrive, he disappears. Apparently that Uncle is a crazy scientist who figured out how to manipulate various dimensions. Dimensions include realms that makes everything light weight, that slows down time or revert gravity. It’s up to the kid to use his Uncle’s technology to locate him within the house.
You receive an IDS device that allows you to manipulate the various dimensions. On a basic level during the demo the kid had to get up on ledge he couldn’t reach. Noticing a safe nearby he tried to pick up but alas the kid was to small too handle the safe. Using the ‘fluffy’ dimension to turn everything lightweight that allowed the kid to pick up the safe and move it into position. Reverting back to the real realm, he was easily able to climb up and progress through the door completing the level.
I should note here, that you’ll only be able to use certain dimensions per level, with some unlocking later on when you find the powersource that allows you to use that power within the level.
Continuing on they showed off some of the more complicated puzzles where they had to fetch safes that were being burped up by the machine into the pool of mystical liquid below. Using the inverted gravity dimension they were able to extend to distance the safes traveled to where they were. After gaining access to the safes, they activated fluffy mode, picked up the safes and chucked them to were they needed to go, using the inverted gravity dimension again to attend their traveling distance. On the last safe however, when they threw it, they immediately activated the slow-mo realm and jumped on the block they just threw to get to the switches and the other safes on the other side. After safely landing he placed the safes on switches that opened the door to allow him through to the end of the demo.
Another thing that makes Quantum unique is it’s visual design, it’s very stylistic; just look at the header image above. The developers aren’t shy with humor as well. When you activate various dimensions your surroundings change. In the fluffy dimension everything has a white padded texture, giving off a very cutesy flavor. When you slow down time, the screen turns grainy like you’re watching an old movie.
Around the mansion there are self portraits of the Professor and his pets. When you activate the various dimensions, the pictures change. When you activate the fluffy dimension the professor is decked out in a bunny suit instead of his white trench coat. When you activate the slow-mo realm, the cat and the fish both look at their watches. These little details bring life to the house, where you’ll spend all of the game in.
The interesting art style and the genius use of dimensions as a tool will certainly satisfy anyone who loves these types of games, I, myself am looking forward to see how the game evolves as they approach their early 2012 release date.
Quantum Conundrum is currently being developed for XBLA, PSN and Steam.