Developer: Zadbox Entertainment
Publisher: Zadbox Entertainment
Quern – Undying Thoughts is a fantastic first person exploration adventure completely loaded with puzzles.
You have been brought into this unfamiliar place, and you are trapped against your will by an unknown man. He has some purpose for bringing you here, but you have no clue what it is. You are left alone in a beautiful world to explore, as your captor leaves puzzles everywhere to test you. I found the story intriguing, and it’s told through the letters left by your captor to give you some guidance.
Gameplay wise, this game is filled to the brim with all sorts of different puzzles. The puzzles make use of everything from numbers, to codes, to hidden messages, to sounds, to using the environment. You don’t have any clear cut objectives, so you need to be observant, and pay attention to all the clues around you. Some of the puzzles I was able to solve quickly, while others were very challenging, and had me searching for clues for hours. At times I felt utterly clueless, only to realize I missed something that should have been so obvious. Perseverance and determination certainly pay off, and this is a game where I never wanted to give up. Although, I did facepalm a few times for having missed a few blatantly obvious things.
Overall, I really enjoyed almost all the puzzles, except for the one sound puzzle, and the “Simon Says” puzzle where I actually had to grab a pen because the sequence to remember was 14 digits long! The way you explore the island, and find your way through to open up new areas is satisfying, and I was surprised at how many different parts of the island there were.
- puzzles are plentiful, diverse, challenging, and seamlessly crafted throughout the world
- exploring and solving puzzles is very satisfying; there are also some secrets to be found for achievements
- very intriguing story
- sound effects and the voice acting are done well
- the soundtrack is great, and the music changes as you move between the different areas; I found it to be quite soothing, especially while I was struggling to solve some of the puzzles
- graphics are beautiful, and the scenery looks fantastic
- (nitpick) there is backtracking later on in the game; it wasn’t too bad, but it was a little bit tedious going a long distances to test things out (usually when you mess up or are unsure of what to do)
- (nitpick) sometimes you’ll get caught on the terrain as you run over uneven areas
- (nitpick) some minor texture popping issues (but it’s easy to ignore since you’re so focused on the puzzles at hand)
- (nitpick) while most of the keybindings are customizable, the movement keys are not, and there is only partial controller support right now (most people will be fine with this)
The game took me over 17 hours to complete, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. As with the nature of puzzle games though, they lack replay value because once you know how to do the puzzles, there’s not much reason to play it again.
Quern is an excellent puzzle exploration game. I was impressed from the start through the finish by the multitude of diverse, and challenging puzzles. This game is a must have for any puzzle-lovers out there.