Quantum Conundrum review

  • Pitch perfect first-person platforming
  • Stays challenging without getting frustrating
  • Unique visual style
  • The “look-how-eccentric” sense of humor
  • Lack of strong characters
  • Running out of puzzles

It does all this without relying on overly twitch-based gameplay, or the sort of first-person jumping puzzle hell of a nineties-era shooter. QC’s platforming feels natural, never forcing you to overcorrect for inertia or backpedal to stay on a surface once you’ve landed. There are also plenty of kindly-placed, frustration-averting checkpoints that keep you from repeating the game’s most taxing moments.

But when you actually want to repeat a puzzle, QC has you covered. The game has a level select menu that lets you revisit any challenge you’ve previously beaten. It also tracks your completion speed, how many powers you used, and any hidden collectibles you may or may not have grabbed. QC isn’t chock full of items and secrets, but it has enough to make things interesting. It’s a more than welcome addition to the Portal formula. Players who found those games lacking in replay value will appreciate this incentive to re-tackle a few puzzles.

One place, however, where the Portal games have QC beat, is in the story and humor department. QC’s brand of comedy is amusing, cute, but rather heavy on the whimsy. When it comes to pathos, most any video game villain pales in comparison to GlaDOS, but Dr. Quadwrangle feels like an especially stock characterization. Actor John de Lancie provides a lively voice performance, but this is still your basic cartoon nutty professor. Where he and his impish pet Ike should have motives and character arcs, QC simply doubles down on eccentricity. We know it’s tough to raise anything up to the storytelling bar that the Portal games established, but the game’s writing often felt like cake with too much frosting. QC’s non-sequiturs about graduate students eating ramen eventually had us rolling our eyes.

That’s it though! Gameplay-wise, QC is exemplary. Puzzles never feel “cheap,” and always rely on mechanics that were properly elaborated on, and finishing them consistently put a wry smile on our face, and a feeling of “why didn’t I think of that sooner” in our minds. If you had even a passing enjoyment with the Portal games, or any of the recent influx of indie puzzle-platformers, we can’t recommend Quantum Conundrum enough. It’s a work of craftsman-like quality going for a ridiculously low price point, especially since the game has two upcoming DLC drops planned. High whimsy content aside, fans of new, interesting, brain-bending challenges need to seek this one out.

More Info

Release date: Jul 11 2012 - Xbox 360
Jun 21 2012 - PC
Jul 10 2012 - PS3 (US)
Available Platforms: Xbox 360, PC, PS3
Genre: Puzzle
Published by: Square Enix
Developed by: Airtight Games
ESRB Rating:
Everyone: Comic Mischief


  • zoigburn - June 24, 2012 1:30 a.m.

    from Q to I will buy when it is fully supported in wine
  • NoAssociation - June 22, 2012 7:49 a.m.

    Hopefully we will see a OSX version soon! It usually takes me forever to complete a game I have to dual-boot to play :-/
  • Jesse1066 - June 21, 2012 11:35 p.m.

    I already thought this sounded interesting. Now that I know it has John de Lancie, I have to get it!
  • talleyXIV - June 21, 2012 1:42 p.m.

    This game looked really clunky to me, but hey I can be wrong. Whatever happened to "Is it better than..." Is that part of Gamesradar really gone because that was actually quite useful.
  • D0CCON - June 21, 2012 3:58 p.m.

    Those exist when a review is labelled a "Super Review" and those reviews seem to need at least 3 pages.
  • forestfire55 - June 21, 2012 7:33 p.m.

    I think they dont do those any more because there scared of debating fanboys
  • ObliqueZombie - June 21, 2012 12:39 p.m.

    Once I pay off this computer, I'll be all for this game.
  • Darkhawk - June 21, 2012 12:35 p.m.

    BUT: Is it better than.... Portal Portal 2
  • ObliqueZombie - June 21, 2012 12:39 p.m.

  • bigwill1221 - June 22, 2012 2:37 a.m.

    Yes to me. (and no haven't gone back after user creation levels)
  • SCW - June 21, 2012 11:38 a.m.

    Can't Wait!
  • Cyberninja - June 21, 2012 9:48 a.m.

    So what your saying is its better than halo reach?
  • ZhugeLiang - June 21, 2012 10:10 a.m.

    We got a GamesRadar OG right here
  • CombatWombat101 - June 21, 2012 10:18 a.m.

  • sirdilznik - June 21, 2012 10:42 a.m.

    Ironically (or maybe not ironically) the answer to that lame, played out joke question often is: "Yes, yes it is better than Halo Reach."
  • D0CCON - June 21, 2012 4:01 p.m.

    If Halo 4 gets a 9 or 10, does that force it to be the last game to get the better than Halo Reach treatment? It's kind of redundant when the most recent game in the series is a 9 or 10 (although if Halo 4 gets a 9, does that mean a new joke will arise that says all 10 games are better than Halo 4?)
  • forestfire55 - June 21, 2012 7:35 p.m.

    I hope they give halo 4 a 7, i like halo but GOD THE FANBOYS RAGING WOULD BE AWSOME!
  • zoigburn - June 24, 2012 1:51 a.m.

    fragging fanbois would be better
  • Cyberninja - June 21, 2012 11:39 p.m.

    But its handled by a new studio so it will be worst than halo reach, heck I say they give it a joke review and give it the legendary 0 but make it seem really serious with detailed reasons, then see the fanboy reaction that would be priceless if done right.
  • Hobogonigal - June 22, 2012 1:03 a.m.

    And so it returns...

Showing 1-20 of 21 comments

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