The Turing Test Reviews

AuthorReview
x Mataeus x
576,397 (332,922)
x Mataeus x
TA Score for this game: 1,346
Posted on 12 October 16 at 07:29
This review has 16 positive votes and 1 negative vote. Please log in to vote.
Preamble:
Please note I play a lot of these games on my 'review' tag, and often before achievements are live. As with all of my reviews, the verdict below is based purely on my personal time with the game. My reviews are not influenced by general opinions, they do not draw reference to other people’s experiences (unless I’m reviewing couch co-op play), nor are they based on any one particular element; rather they are an account of my own experiences, and as a result are entirely subjective – as they should be! I try to be as spoiler-free as possible, but in the interest of providing an honest account, some reveals may be necessary. Enjoy smile

Please COMMENT if you down vote - I take the time to create these reviews for this community; I'd love your feedback!


Review:
Portal was a ground breaking game when Valve released it back in 2007, tucked away in the tail-end of The Orange Box compilation. It practically invented the modern first person puzzle game, notably by making something other than killing the focus of the first person gameplay. Since then, many pretenders have come along to try their hand at recreating the test-chamber gameplay, with indie developers paying homage to its addictive and rewarding level based physics challenges with varying degrees of success.

Today sees the release of the latest title to emulate portals now classic test-chamber gameplay. The Turing Test, created by the same team responsible for last years Pneuma: Breath of Life, might just be the best Portal mod there never was.

Waking from a ten year stint in a stasis pod on a ship orbiting one of Jupiters moons, the omnipresent voice of T.O.M. guides you through your first steps into this graphically impressive game world. T.O.M. is, as these kind of overseers usually are, the AI responsible for taking care of the ship and its crew. As you explore the areas of the ship, the second thing you’ll notice – after the beautiful graphics and art direction – is how interactive the game is. Wandering around, listening to the artificial intelligence as it guides you, you’ll find yourself picking up mugs, notes, folders and all manner of things which can be rotated and flipped around. These items aren’t collectable, nor are they central to gameplay, but occasionally poking your nose into something can reveal an extra thing or two about the games back story. It’s a cool touch, and makes the world feel more tactile and alive than all of its clutter just being mere scenery.

Shortly into the games first chapter, you’ll find yourself wielding what looks like a shotgun and standing inside a white room with a simple puzzle to solve. This is where the bulk of the gameplay lies: There are dozens of these rooms which get progressively more difficult over the games eight hour run time. Your objective in each room is the same, to reach the exit and progress into the next chamber, all the while listening to T.O.M. as he watches your every move.

The gun you carry serves a very important purpose: It sucks up balls of energy with the left trigger, and spits them out with the right trigger. These balls of energy can only be fired out into the electronic sockets which decorate every room. Some of these sockets act as a lock – Shoot the ball in, and it unlocks the door next to it. Others act as conduits, lighting up wiring running across the rooms to various devices: Bridges, steps, moving platforms and the like. As the game progresses, the puzzles become more and more difficult to figure out, but one thing always remains: Logic. All of the puzzles can be completed without trickery, or manipulation of the games mechanics in an unorthodox way. In fact, I went out of my way in every single one of the more complex rooms to try and break the game, or have it back me into an unsolvable corner. I experienced ONE scenario where I had to pause the game and select to restart the room – not the entire chapter, which are made up of ten rooms each – and that was because I was TRYING to break it. Unlike some other games, including the original inspiration it has to be said, every single one of the seventy plus puzzles I played through just worked. Like a handmade Sudoku, no matter how difficult it looks you can extrapolate to get to the solution. Simply put: The puzzles are brilliant. You’ll swear blind something is literally impossible, only to have the obvious solution hit you over head with a satisfying thump.

And then I reached a point no one should ever talk about in any review ever. A point which blew my mind. And at that point, my enjoyment and respect became unadulterated love.

The title features a compelling plot which runs parallel to it’s fantastic design. T.O.M. has something to say to you as you approach every single one of the games rooms, and your fully voiced protagonist and the AI engage in conversations which cover all manner of subjects, from the practical to the philosophical. The mood here is serious, and it’s a tone which is kept throughout the experience. I applaud the developers here: Too many games of this type ape Portal’s comedic and sarcastic commentary, including the devs previous title, Pneuma. Here, there are serious questions to be asked, and difficult answers to be given. Again, I’m reluctant to reveal more – the story is compelling, although it does end rather abruptly.

The Turing Test wears its inspiration on it’s sleeve; it’s the most Portal looking non-Portal game I’ve ever played. That doesn’t matter though, as if you think you’ve played through these puzzles before, think again. It’s a game where care has been taken over every detail, and meticulous level design from start to finish, coupled with the great characterisation of the player and her AI partner, makes for a compelling experience. It’s not only one of the finest games in the genre, it’s one of the best Xbox games I’ve ever played. Just do yourself one huge favour: Don’t use a walkthrough! If I can master the game and all of it’s achievements, so can you.
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Twinkling82
124,245 (69,810)
Twinkling82
TA Score for this game: 1,346
Posted on 29 September 16 at 12:22
This review has 13 positive votes and 6 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
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Lost in space has a new meaning with The Turing Test. You are literally lost and alone to boot.

You wake up from a cryo sleep, and as you walk around and check your surroundings you find other members of the ships crew, but it turns out they are still asleep and not due for a wake up for 400 years. One cryo holder has failed and the person in it is probably dead.

The intelligent computer aboard the ship tells you that something has happened, and he has lost contact to the crew on the ground of the planet the ship is in orbit of. The planet is Europa, and the crews job is to drill through the ice and do some science to look for life. You find a landing pod and head to the surface, close to the ground crews quarters, and you head in.

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As you progress through the different areas, you find bits and pieces of info on what happened to the crew and its purpose of the travel to Europa. You even pass through the area where the drill are placed as well as where the scientists found a very valuable life form – but dangerous. This is where this game come through and shines light on the morale and dilemma this game is all about when it comes to its story.

Tom, the virtual intelligence who follows you and guides you through the game, gets creepier and creepier, but not on the level that we’ve seen other VI’s get in other games. It is actually kind of logic versus heart/mind/feelings that really melts down the morale. The game never really gives you any decisions that will alter what you will see in the game.

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Gameplay wise the game does fantastic by merging new ideas with tried and praised gameplay elements. The Turing Test is a first person puzzler, so it’s easy to compare it to similar games, but I will not be pointing out titles. You get a gun early in the game, but it’s not working just like any other gun. It can hold up to three energy balls, of which you add to devices or takes from devices. There’s different types of energy balls, and your job is to apply them to the right devices to solve the puzzle.

The look and feel of the game is pretty good and doesn’t feel off. Only thing that gets a little annoying is the requirement to push the action button to crawl ladders instead of just crawl them. In general, this game has an awesome feel and atmosphere to it, right down to the twist it ends with.

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I highly recommend this game to anyone who likes puzzlers that they can solve in their own time with a good story to boot. Fair warning, the game isn’t that long, there’s no collectibles to go and get, and the bonus rooms you might miss (hard to miss by the way), is easily accessed by loading levels after you’ve played through the game.

The game is released as download only – and Bulkhead Interactive which developed the game is only a year old by now. The game is published with help from Square Enix in their indie program called Collective for PC and Xbox One with no sign of getting to Playstation.

Hit; Puzzles are amazing and the tools new.
Miss; Short story, sadly.
Need; Could have used a few more tools to solve puzzles for variation.
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There are 9 comments relating to this Review | Please log in to comment on this solution.
marksmango1d
81,411 (56,115)
marksmango1d
TA Score for this game: 1,346
Posted on 01 November 17 at 19:49, Edited on 01 November 17 at 19:50
This review has 3 positive votes and 0 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
A decent game that takes obvious reference from Portal for the gameplay and 2001: A Space Odyssey for the story. Most of the puzzle are fairly easy even I could figure them out without a guide until the last few chapters.

Game Mechanics
Puzzle solving with switch or boolean(true/false) logic, something either has a orb powering it or it doesn't. Those few puzzles that you have to use physics to move boxes are out of place for the game and are annoying when you have to knock or drop a box onto a switch and might have to restart a puzzle because you didn't get it on the switch.

Story
An interesting story but doesn't really match the gameplay at all.

Worth playing a some easy gamerscore.
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