No Fluff: Quantum Conundrum’s Interdimensional DLC

By Nathan Grayson on July 25th, 2012 at 12:00 pm.

It's crucial to get your children acclimated to top hats at a very young age if you expect them to lead normal, decent lives.

In the beginning, there was Quantum Conundrum, and it was… pretty decent, with occasional flashes of both brilliance and dimension-shattering frustration. However, in this era where games no longer come on tapes or frisbees, they are capable of producing new content from thin air – like a magician bending the fabric of reality to produce a bunny. And while Quantum Conundrum’s DLC won’t have any bunnies (that I know of), one of the two announced mini-expansions will center around Ike, who is somewhat bunny-like in stature. Meanwhile, the other pack, The Desmond Debacle, will be led by a drinking bird and feature “hours” of puzzle-solving. Beforehand, however, you’ll have to strain your brain to solve the diabolical Should-You-Buy-It Conundrum. Perhaps I can help you with that.

The Desmond Debacle, as it turns out, is right around the corner. It’s got a July 31st launch in its sights and a $2.99 price tag arguing its case quite loudly. As far as content goes, however, it sounds like a thinly veiled puzzle pack – for better or worse. Square’s describing it as “a brand new adventure deep in an unexplored wing of the labyrinthine Quadwrangle Manor” that sees “old friend Desmond, the drinking bird, offer up even more brain-twisting and complex puzzles for hours of inter-dimensional puzzle solving.” Which is, of course, a horrible deal – given that the competition’s now offering DLC with years, centuries, and millennia of inter-dimensional puzzle solving.

The wonderfully titled IKE-aramba add-on, meanwhile, opens up yet another undiscovered wing of Quadwrangle Manor (talk about greed, right? Starving children in Africa could eat those rooms) for Ike to get lost in. Apparently, we’ll “leap seemingly endless chasms” in our bid to rescue him and his shockingly durable nametag. It’ll also run you $2.99 when it drops at the end of August.

So then, we’re certainly looking at more, but will it be bigger or better? More challenging? Less? Here’s hoping Airtight used what little time it had between finishing the main game and designing these puzzles to really take a step back and figure out where Quantum Conundrum didn’t quite stick its landing. Otherwise, I can’t promise Ike’s safe return. Largely because I’ll probably die a bunch, get angry, and give up.

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20 Comments »

  1. Flukie says:

    Beat this game, done with it, don’t need DLC.

    It was good but as the Wot I think said, im sick of those coridoors.

  2. Xocrates says:

    Unless they’ve slapped some sense into the level designer (which given some of the levels I assume was an octopus) I really don’t see a reason to get this.

    The core game felt padded as it is, nothing short of a large bump in quality would make further investment worth it.

  3. Soapeh says:

    The comparisons to the Portals were rife when the game appeared, and rightly so. However, QC really missed the mark with the awfully dull and unfunny Professor Quadrangle whose soundbites I thankfully didn’t have to endure repeating very often as the game was too easy. I also turned his voice off towards the end. I think they missed the point of what made both Portals so appealing, which to me were the moments that led you behind the scenes of Aperture to apply your skills in environs outside of the test chambers.

    Perhaps the comparisons would have been even more solid if QC did let you somehow apply dimension shifts in areas outside of the repetitive mansion hallways but I think that it would have added more character to the game.

    Apparently I did buy the ‘season pass’ so I will try out these DLC packs when they appear, and the game was cheap enough to justify some of these criticisms anyway. I don’t regret buying it.

    • EPICTHEFAIL says:

      I disliked him mostly because he sounded like he had eaten a Voyager DVD box set. Technobabble is rarely entertaining, even less so when you have an understanding of the “babble” part and the suspension of disbelief falls apart. Even when he wasn`t misusing and abusing physics terminology, the guy was far too much of a cliche to entertain in ways other than the creators` audacity to play this so painfully straight, without the slightest hint of a lampshade.
      Add to that the nonexistent optimization, Level design that is boring at best and counterintuitive at worst, and game mechanics that get boring about 15 minutes after they are introduced, mostly thanks to the aforementioned level design and we end up with an average-at-best puzzle game.

  4. Humppakummitus says:

    The original game really didn’t have an ending and it seems neither of the DLC packs continues the story from where it stopped.

    I’m disappointed. I like endings.

  5. Premium User Badge

    Matt_W says:

    I still appear to be the odd man out; I like QC quite a bit, didn’t find the narration annoying, and enjoyed the platformy nature of many of the puzzles. I’m quite willing to plunk down my coffee money for more of the same.

  6. Nixitur says:

    This is most likely game content that was finished before the game even launched.
    Why do I think this? Well, because the achievements for both of these DLCs were already in the game and in Steam at the day the game launched.
    I am highly disappointed and feel ripped off. As much as I liked and enjoyed Quantum Conundrum, I will not buy these DLCs that are most likely main-game content just cut from the game to sell it later. I invite you to do the same.

    • Godwhacker says:

      Either that or they just ran out of time to complete it.

      Actually, both.

  7. Godwhacker says:

    My main complaint is that It just wasn’t as funny as it seemed to think it was. There was one joke in there that made me want to vomit- the one that referenced ‘Every Day I’m Shuffling’ by LMFAO. I almost uninstalled the game at that point. It was bad enough when they were ripping off the Portal joke of using Big Science Words for everyday objects.

    Other than that- fun enough, just a little ropey, and a little uninspired. The music was terrible and was on constantly, and the ending wasn’t really there.

    But still, pretty fun.

  8. wererogue says:

    I wanted Portal before it launched – the idea of a first-person puzzler where you play with space was enough for me, without even an inkling that it could have such an involving narrative. I sated my hunger with Narbacular Drop, which I also enjoyed immensely – the ability to place portals through portals is too much power, but can be great fun as well.

    Given that, the cries of “but it doesn’t have what made portal so popular” fall a bit flat with me. I suspect that it was something inherent to Valve that lifted Portal’s narrative to the heights it enjoyed (perhaps the budget for voice actors, or the cult of game polish, or the access to the playtest lab?). All I really wanted to see out of Kim Swift’s new game was some awesome physics puzzles, and as such, I’m still stoked to play it.

    • Xocrates says:

      “All I really wanted to see out of Kim Swift’s new game was some awesome physics puzzles,”

      And that’s the problem, that’s not what Quantum Conundrum is. The game varies from Portal style physics puzzling (though not as good) to twitch platforming the likes of Super Meat Boy (though not as well thought out) and everything in between.

      We ended with a game that tried desperately to be like Portal while blatantly not trying to be Portal, resulting that the game lacks focus and identity. For every hint of brilliance the game has there are multiple baffling design decisions.

      I don’t think the problem is that the audience expected too much or for the game to be something else, I think the problem is that the developers weren’t sure what they were trying to make either.

  9. Max Ursa says:

    i personally quite like QC, it is very family friendly. my 5 year old loves playing it with me, solving the puzzles. as far as i can see it was made as a family game and makes for a good opener for logic puzzles.

    • Xocrates says:

      Out of honest curiosity, how far are you into the game?

      • Max Ursa says:

        i think we’ve restarted the first generator. nearly to second.

    • eclipse mattaru says:

      Same here, I play it for short bursts with my daughter when she comes home. She wouldn’t take the controls because of the jumping puzzles and such, but she loves commanding me; it’s as a sort of meta-meta gameplaying when you think about it.

      Also, I rather like the gameplay, including -gasp!- the jumping puzzles. It is an annoyance not being able to see your feet, but I found the engine capable and responsive enough that I have not problem solving any challenge as long as I keep my cool.

  10. SuperNashwanPower says:

    BUNNIES

  11. Annexed says:

    For anyone who is wondering about whether the DLC is worth buying or not…

    It includes six new puzzles – all of them involving mutiple stages – and they are about the same level of difficulty as the toughest of the puzzles from the main game.

    There’s no voice-over from your uncle to annoy you or give away the answer to the puzzle, and while this will probably please many people, it does mean there’s no coherent purpose to this set of challenges. You can work out a thin story of sorts after you complete the final puzzle, but it’s rather anti-climactic, as it isn’t clear until afterwards that you’re at the end of the level. Also tying into this lack of thread is the fact that, despite the ‘Desmond Debacle’ title, only two of the levels actually include a Desmond.

    In essence there’s nothing new here from the main game – no new dimensions or puzzle structures. It’s probably an hour or two of gameplay at most for anyone who has completed QC already, although plenty more if you want to get the speed run and shift run achievements, which look much trickier here than in the main game.

    All of which might sound quite negative, but I enjoyed the game first time around and this was a fun addition.