August 30th will see the release of the anticipated Turing Test, by Bulkhead Interactive and Square Enix. An adventure puzzle game taking place on the distant Jupiter moon, Europa, this was one that caught my interest the second I heard of it. And I can say: it did not disappoint. It reeled me in from the start and it’s without a doubt one of the best games I’ve played this year. If you’re a fan of the Portal series, this one is DEFINITELY for you. Space Core would love it.
You play as Ava Turing, an ISA astronaut. After awakening on Europa, you are informed by Tom, the resident AI, that the original crew has gone missing. It is your job to find them. You set off but quickly discover that the facility is guarded by a number of “tests.” Tom proceeds to call them “Turing Tests,” designed to allow humans in and keep computers out.
The Turing Test does an excellent job of keeping you absolutely invested in the story, with several important plot points throughout. There are files you can read and audio clips to listen to, adding to the depth of the story. The dialogue and plot are well written as well. It has quite a few twists and turns and even though I was sure I knew where it was going, I was pleasantly surprised. The story will definitely keep you invested until the end!
The realistic graphics are also gorgeous. There’s a lot of minor details and information put into the environment, providing a great immersion effect. The music is beautiful and constant, matching the icy cold of Europa perfectly (I’ll actually be keeping an eye out for a soundtrack). Voice actors for the main characters, Ava and Tom, are perfect choices, with plenty of inflection and emotion. My only complaint with the sound however was the minor characters. I felt the other crew members’ were lacking in this department. In the audio files, they mostly felt removed from the situation and, honestly, took me out of the story a bit because it felt almost forced.
But let’s get down to the real meat of The Turing Test: the puzzles. It instantly reminded me of the Portal games and any fan of those two will instantly love this new addition to Steam. With your ‘gun,’ you can remove and replace energy balls from strategic points on the level. Blue will be a permanent action (such as holding open a door or moving a platform), green and purple work intermittently (doors open and close rhythmically), and red will work only once, though you can remove and replace it to have it work again. Tools exist to help you through your missions, such as cameras, robots, boxes, bridges, and giant magnets. Using the energy balls and tools, you can advance through the rooms to the next, with part of the story being revealed after every completion.
The Turing Test did an excellent job of introducing you to new mechanics while never making it too easy. You weren’t thrown into a map that ever felt impossible. While some were more difficult than others, I don’t feel I ran into any that were real stumpers (which did make me a little sad but they were still challenging). However, there were side puzzles which I have not yet completed and those did seem to be quite a bit more difficult than the main story line’s. I plan on going back to finish those soon.
I completed the game in about 7-8 hours, which, personally, was a bit disappointing because I’m a puzzle addict. It was still a good length and it never felt drawn out or rushed.
For puzzle addicts like myself who love a good story, I absolutely recommend checking out The Turing Test. It hits Steam on August 30th and, until release, you can actually save 10% off the game or 25% off the Collector’s Edition.