Category Archives: Game Previews

Quantum Conundrum: A Nerd Stereotype Turned Video Game

PREVIEW

(PC, PS3, XBOX 360)

Kim Swift’s Portal-inspired puzzler is smart, funny, drop Trek references, and sucks at sports.

Quantum Conundrum: A Nerd Stereotype Turned Video Game

John De Lancie plays the role of an omnipresent disembodied guide voice in Airtight’s Quantum Conundrum: The direct GLaDOS analog in this Portal-parallel puzzler. I forget the character’s name — Professor something-or-another — but it doesn’t matter, because all I can hear when De Lancie speaks is Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s all-powerful trickster Q guiding me through a series of increasingly complex puzzles before dropping the other shoe and leaving me stranded in the Delta Quadrant, or sitting in a movie theatre sharing popcorn with the Borg Collective, or something. And I’m sure the developers were aiming for this precise effect with the actor’s casting. Lots of video games have tried to make players feel like the Captain of the starship Enterprise, but none have ever taken this route to get there.

And you know the people behind Quantum Conundrum are a bunch of Star Trek geeks who giggled excitedly when Delancie came in to record his lines. It’s a game that proudly wears its nerdiness on its sleeve. And that sleeve comes attached to a Starfleet tunic. Definitely a post-Deep Space 9-era tunic, with its predominantly black design and colour-coded shoulders. Because Quantum Conundrum may be geeky, but it also has enough sense to know those black uniforms were a lot more flattering than the ones that came before. It’s a smart game, obviously. When you have a title like “Quantum Conundrum,” you’re probably not aiming for the sort of customer who furtively stops by Wal-mart’s electronics section for a quick impulse game purchase before hitting the pharmacy to gather the ingredients to brew a batch of coffee pot methamphetamine back in a room at Motel 6.

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