Level Up

Quantum Conundrum

Today “Level Up” is switching Dimensions.  Welcome… to the “Fluffy” Dimension.

Imagine for a moment that everything around you weighs absolutely nothing.  Believe that you are floating amongst soft, fluffy clouds.  Your bookcase weighs a feather; feel free to toss it around as if it were a big stuffed-animal.

There are other Dimensions we can visit later, but while playing the new video game Quantum Conundurm, Fluffy is the first Dimension you will encounter.

It’s hard not to mention straight off, that Quantum Conundrum is designed by Kim Swift — she’s a total badass in the game industry.  If you’re at all interested in project management or game development, you should watch her speech at the Game Developers Conference in 2007.

Famously, at a job fair during her senior year in college, Swift and friends were assigned to design a game that ended up gaining the attention of game developer, Valve (the company behind Half-Life).  Valve hired Swift and her entire team on the spot to recreate their game into what has now become the critically acclaimed, Portal.  Swift also worked on Left For Dead along with several other Valve titles.  But in late 2009, Swift left Valve amicably to join Airtight Games as the the project lead with a mission to produce innovative games to a broader audience.

Quantum Conundrum does just that.  It’s a puzzle game that can appeal to anyone.  It’s a game that I’d want to play with my family, like when I was a kid… sharing the experience with my parents or friends.  But at the same time, it’s fun to solve puzzles alone.

You start the game as a 12-year-old kid that gets dropped off at your Uncle’s doorstep.  Your Uncle is an inventor, and he’s a little off his rocker:  Professor Fitz Quadrangle (appropriately voiced by John De Lancie, the legendary “Q” from Star Trek ):

Quadrangle’s house is a giant laboratory.  Upon your arrival, there’s an explosion and your Uncle is now missing.  Because his entire house is a crazy science experiment, you’ll have to solve a new puzzle to move from room to room.  In order to do this (and the primary mechanism of the game) is that you will have to use one of your Uncle’s inventions — the “Interdimensional Shift Device” (or “ISD”) which will allow you to switch Dimensions to solve each “level”.

Every time you switch to a new Dimension, you get a new ability.  Beyond that, the physical appearance of the room changes.  Not only do the colors change, but even small details – like the paintings on the wall alter to match your Dimension:

There are four Dimensions that you gain as your game progresses.

Regular Room in Quantum Conundrum:

After activating the “Fluffy” Dimension:

1.  Fluffy:  Everything is 10 times lighter and you can move any object with great ease.  Rooms are soft and cushiony.

2.  Heavy:  The opposite of Fluffy, it turns a softly tossed box into a destructive and durable object.  For instance, you can use the Heavy Dimension after tossing a Fluffy box into the air, in order to destroy a window or endure a fall.  Everything in the room looks slightly more “industrial”.

3.  Slow Motion:  As imagined, you can slow the movement speed of everything in the room outside of yourself.  Toggling this Dimension could save you from some pretty sticky situations.

4.  Gravity Reversal:  The last Dimension in the game… everything is turned upside down.  You’ll need to use your wits to figure out when to switch to Gravity Reversal, possibly creating new platforms for yourself.

Quantum Conundrum is downloadable and currently under $15.00.  Released yesterday (June 21st) for PC users on Steam, Quantum Conundrum is due to hit XBox Live and PlayStation Network later this summer (dates TBA).   If you don’t know about Steam yet, I highly recommend it.  While playing on your computer via Steam servers, you can access your saved game anytime, from all over the world.

I will now leave you with three videos.

The first, is a trailer for Quantum Conundrum featuring one of it’s cutest characters: “Ike”.  The game is not this fast paced, but will give you a good idea of the humor and fun intended by the designers.

The second, is of Kim Swift giving a little hands-on demo — taking her time to show you how to navigate Dimensions.

And, the third video is me, talking a little more about my experience with Quantum Conundrum and our special GAME CODE GIVEAWAY.  I have two for you guys – details on how to win are in my video for HelloGiggles below.

Quantum Conundrum Official Homepage:          www.quantumconundrum.com

Quantum Conundrum Official Facebook page:   www.facebook.com/quantumconundrumgame

Follow Professor Quadwrangle on Twitter:        @ProfQuadwrangle


Featured Image Via:  Square Enix and the amazing artist team on staff at Airtight Games for making HelloGiggles “Fluffy”

Additional Images Via: Quantum Conundrum / Square Enix / Airtight Games