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Portal Creator Looks to Twist Our Brains in New Ways With Quantum Conundrum

By Daniel Jones on 1/14/2012
Kim Swift, for those who aren't in the know, is the mind that brought the world one of the greatest puzzle games of all time, Portal. After she left Valve in 2009, Swift began working for Airtight Games on a project similar to, yet also different from the seminal space-time mind melter. Airtight's Quantum Conundrum is another first-person puzzle game with a comic slant that uses physics to test player's brains in new, challenging ways.

The world of Quantum Conundrum is a huge departure from the cold, sterile test chambers of Aperture Science. In Quantum Conundrum, players take the role of a young kid dropped off at his uncle's house for a weekend. Of course, this isn't the kind of uncle that will take him to the movies and buy him an ice cream cone. No, this is the kind of uncle that invents wacky dimension hopping guns and fills his house with laboratories and over sized portraits of himself. The kid's uncle, Professor Quadwrangle goes missing at the beginning of the game, leaving behind his latest invention, the not-so-catchy-named Inter-Dimensional Shift Device.

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With this device, the player is able to switch back and forth between several different dimensions with their own unique rules and physics. One such dimension is the fluffy dimension, in which every object becomes a stuffed toy version of itself. Can't pick up that heavy safe? Switch to the fluffy dimension to pick it up. Want to break through a wall of glass? Pick up that safe and throw it at the glass. However, that alone won't break the glass. A fluffy teddy bear safe isn't going to break glass. The player will need to use the device to switch back to the normal dimension, giving that safe its normal weight and impact midair before it will actually break the glass.


Another dimension the developers have showed off is the slow motion dimension. Here, players are allowed to slow down everything around them in order to flip switches, get through laser beams, or throw fluffy objects through the air and catch them on the other side of a wall. What makes this all the more interesting is that players will not be able to inhabit more than one dimension at a time, meaning if you switch to the slow motion dimension after throwing a fluffy object, that object is going to turn back to a heavy object mid-air and you won't be able to catch it without switching back to the fluffy dimension.

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If it's morning when you're reading this, I sure hope you had your coffee and ate your Wheatees because it can all be quite brain twisting. Kim Swift created the brain killer that is the original Portal and she is looking to amplify that concept with Quantum Conundrum. It's unclear how much impact the story will have, though it certainly seems like a quirky, endearing premise with a lot of potential. The characters and setting could be just as memorable as Aperture Science and its denizens.

Quantum Conundrum is being developed by Airtight Games, published by Square Enix and is scheduled for release in 2012 on Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC. Stay tuned to The Game Effect for more on this quirky puzzler.
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Elleyena on March 21, 2012
This looks interesting. I'll definitely be looking forward to trying it out! I wonder if it'll be on the Wii U and what affect that will have on the control scheme...
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dieg234 on February 04, 2012
Looks pretty awesome!
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Atopos on January 24, 2012
The Psychonauts anyone?
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xGloomyKZx on January 21, 2012
This game really did just look like a copy of portal but looking more into those 3 different dimensions that you can control it looks to be way more fun and puzzling. Can't wait!!
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drakula3000 on January 20, 2012
It's awesome :D
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OSMenace on January 16, 2012
I saw this game in a magazine a few months ago, but didn't give it much thought. Now I'm reconsidering my opinion, the game looks to have some incredible potential for some serious puzzles.
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MikeDeas879 on January 15, 2012
I didn't love Portal 2 as much as everyone else (although it is a great game) but I will definitely try out anything from someone who brought us such an original idea.
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Merfyz on January 15, 2012
It looks fun, and i like the artistic style of it. It also looks like it will have a good amount of humor in it which i like.

I will be checking out this game when it comes out.
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