Developer: Bulkhead Interactive
Publisher: Square Enix
The Turing Test is a first person sci-fi puzzle platforming adventure by the creators of Pneuma: Breath of Life.
You play as Ava Turing, and you are dispatched to an icy moon of Jupiter. With the guidance of an AI T.O.M., you must find out what happened to the ground crew that was stationed there. You’ll need to solve a series of tests that “only a human could solve” to find the clues, and whereabouts of the crew. The game makes you think about human morality, AI consciousness, and logic. I found it quite interesting, although I wasn’t all that surprised as the story revealed itself.
The gameplay reminds me of the Portal series, and it revolves around solving puzzles in different test chambers to progress on to the next one. Instead of a portal gun, you’ll use your energy manipulation tool to absorb, store, and distribute different charges of energy to power up different objects and doors. In some puzzles, you need to change perspectives to complete tasks, and it reminded me a little of The Swapper.
The level design is usually clear cut, and when you first enter a new sector, it’s often obvious what you needed to do. The style of the environments is simple, and many areas look similar from one area to the next. I suppose this is consistent with other games in the genre though.There were a few puzzles that took me a little longer to solve, but I found most of the puzzles to be straightforward without offering much of a challenge at all. The puzzles were enjoyable nonetheless, but I wish there had been more complexity to them.
- the story is pretty good; it’s interesting, and has a lot more depth than you’d expect
- the puzzle mechanics are good, and implemented well, although they don’t really bring anything new to the genre, but the game is paced nicely, and you likely won’t feel stuck or frustrated while playing (the puzzles where you have to change perspectives were my favourites, as they were slightly more intricate than the others)
- the visuals look good for the most part, and the performance is solid
- impressive voice acting giving you a well done narrative, and the sound effects are good as well
- the music is excellent throughout the game; the calming soundtrack fits so great with the gameplay and dialog (normally, I don’t notice music while solving puzzles, but I found myself noticing the music here, and thinking “I really like this music”)
- keybindings are fully customizable, and there is full controller support (but there are a few puzzles where quick timing is required, and using the keyboard and mouse is probably easier for those puzzles)
- at times, the lens flare is almost blinding; a separate graphics setting for just the lens flare would be nice
- the puzzles are generally straightforward, and not very challenging
- the game is a bit on the short side, and like most puzzle games, there isn’t any replay value after you solve all the puzzles once (took me about 4.5 hours to 100% complete it, while solving all of the optional puzzles, listening to all the audio logs, and reading a fair amount of the text logs)
- (nitpick) even though the use ability was set to a different button, it still continued to say press “E,” when “E” does absolutely nothing
- (nitpick) the game constantly prompts you with which bindings to press for shooting, and using objects the entire game (it would have been nice to have been able to shut that off)
I’m not blown away by The Turing Test, but it’s a good game. If you’re a fan of first person puzzle platformers with a strong narrative to go along with it, The Turing Test is certainly worth a playthrough, but you may want to wait for a sale price.
This game was a Steam gift from one of my subscribers.