Gather ‘round, girls and boys, and hearken to the tale of Kim Swift. Once upon a time, when she was but a college student, Swift co-created a little puzzle game called Narbacular Drop. The game was later brought to the attention of Gabe Newell, the head honcho of Valve. Newell hired the game’s entire development team, and Swift became a project lead on a new puzzle game, based heavily on Narbacular Drop’s mechanics. The game was called Portal. You may have heard of it. In 2008, Swift (in conjunction with writer Erik Wolpaw, whom we have to thank for GLaDOS’ now-iconic dialogue) took home two Game Developers Choice Awards for Innovation and Game of the Year. Halfway through development of Portal 2, Swift left Valve for indie developer Airtight Games, simply because she wanted to do something new. That something new is a first-person puzzle adventure called Quantum Conundrum, released last week on Steam, and coming to Xbox LIVE and PlayStation Network in July.
I was excited for this game the moment I heard that Swift had designed it, but within an hour of playing, the game had exceeded my expectations. I was grinning through every level (okay, there were a few bouts of loud swearing, too, but come on, it’s a puzzle game). Sometimes I laughed aloud at a puzzle’s solution, just because it was so damn clever. To help you determine if Quantum Conundrum is for you, let me ask a simple question: Do you like having fun?
If you answered yes, play this game.