A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Kids can learn to analyze evidence and deduce answers to physics-based puzzlers in this inventive and entertaining first-person brainteaser. Players draw from their understanding of real-world physics concepts such as gravity, time, and wind, and combine this knowledge with their grasp of the game's collection of physics-altering rules in order to solve puzzles in a giant mansion. Quantum Conundrum's clever brain breakers give players a vigorous mental workout as they practice logic, reasoning, and puzzle-solving skills.
This game rewards players for thinking through tricky physics-based puzzles, implying that careful thought combined with an understanding of the world are important tools for overcoming obstacles.
Positive Role Models
The player's character is a child who is never seen and never speaks. The primary personality in the game is his uncle, a disembodied voice that offers a mixture of encouragement, jibes, explanations, and jokes. Players might aspire to his genius, but probably not his lightly prickly demeanor.
Ease of Play
Basic first-person game controls should be easy for most people to pick up. The puzzles are wonderfully balanced, never unfair, and slowly escalate in difficulty to remain challenging throughout. Players are provided instruction regarding the objectives and rules within the game and need only apply their knowledge of common physical properties -- such as weight, wind, and time -- to discern solutions.
Violence & Scariness
Your character can "die" if he falls into an abyss or touches a laser beam, in which case the screen simply fades to black.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Quantum Conundrum is a physics-based first-person puzzle game with little in the way of iffy content. There is no fighting, profanity, and sexuality. The player's character can "die" while trying to solve the game's puzzles by getting hit by a laser or falling over a ledge, but the screen simply fades to black when this happens. The game's focus is to have players use their brains to figure out solutions to challenging but fair puzzles that demand clear and rational thought.
Is It Any Good?
It's almost impossible not to compare Quantum Conundrum to Valve's beloved Portal games, but this new contender can hold its own in that comparison. Its puzzles are wonderfully designed -- ingenious, fun, and fair. Figuring out that you must quickly switch between the fluffy and heavy dimensions to change the weight of a box on a rotating handle in order to spin a crank can result in a kind of satisfaction not easily dismissed. This is a game that makes you feel smart and clever, and that’s a powerful motivation to keep playing.
That said, it comes up a hair short of Portal in the personality department. John de Lancie (better known as Q from Star Trek: The Next Generation) does a fine job portraying the game’s uncle character, but hasn’t been given a script as quirky or as sharp as Portal's. However, this may end up working in the game's favor, since its dialogue remains broad enough for a wide audience. Long story short, it's a top-notch physics puzzler with next to no violence that just about anyone can enjoy. Buy with confidence.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.