Finished Quantum Conundrum! Currently have that good feeling you get when you finish a puzzle game.
It’s not a bad game overall, but it manages to be less than the sum of its parts. I feel like it should be amazing, and it occasionally is, but it often ends up feeling too much like hard work.
One thing it does do is highlight how well Portal managed to pace itself. Portal 2 as well.
The thing is, Portal had one mechanic that could be applied in many ways. That kept things manageable while still allowing them to be varied and interesting.
QC has 4 mechanics that can mostly be applied in a number of ways. Each of those is fine, and they come up with some pretty clever ways to use them. Put 2 together and you can make even more combinations. Put all 4 together and it starts to get too much.
There’s also conveyor belts, launchers, buttons, lasers, sensors, door timers, and way too many safes (read: crates).
Each area tends to have basically one solution (a la Portal 2) although you can occasionally bodge something together that probably wasn’t what was intended (a la Portal 1).
But that means when you enter a new room and there are 20 moving parts, plus 5 buttons that will trigger more moving parts, it’s all a bit overwhelming.
I found I’d boot it up and have great fun on one level, then enjoy the second one, and then by the 3rd or 4th I’d be ‘oh god, that looks like hard work’ and turn it off. Repeat next day.
I never got that feeling with Portal (or Magrunner or Qube).
It’s also way too long, and the kid friendly vibe doesn’t really mesh with the complexity and dexterity needed for some of the puzzles.
John De Lancie does a good job as the voice-in-your-ear making sarcastic jokes. But the jokes tend to all fall into the ‘i see what you did there’ category of jokes that can be quite clever, but don’t actually make you laugh.
There’s also no underlying sense of threat, so little drama and basically he’s no GladOS.