For today’s thoughts and review of a game I have decided to talk about The Turing Test. This is a game that I picked up as part of Games with Gold, but I had thought about previously.The name really interests me as The Turing Test itself is interesting as is Alan Turing. So now I have played quite a bit of it what are my thoughts?
Just to clarify, these are my thoughts on what I have experienced so far and I am currently on Chapter 7, having completed all the Secret Rooms bar the one in Chapter 7. I was playing this game and wrote this review as things started happening which were personal and difficult last year. I was going to scrap this review and just leave it but I figured I did spend time on this and someone might be interested in my thoughts so I’d post what I had with slight updates.
The Turing Test is a first-person puzzle game set on Europa (Jupiter’s moon).It follows Ava Turing, an engineer of a team sent by the International Space Agency to excavate Europa, and the AI T.O.M. (Technical Operations Machine).Ava is awoken and sent to the base on Europa and it is there that you start solving puzzles to proceed through the game.
Game: The Turing Test
Developer: Bulkhead Interactive
Publisher: Square Enix
Platform: Xbox One
Release date: 30th August 2016 (PC/Xbox One), 23rd January 2017 (PS4)
The game itself evokes an easy comparison with Portal due to the character/AI combination as well as using a tool to complete the puzzles.In The Turing Test the tool isn’t quite as cool as the Portal gun, in my opinion, but it collects the power spheres and allows for them to be transferred into the appropriate area to open doors or operate something.
The puzzles themselves develop nicely, allowing you the opportunity to gain confidence in the puzzles and work out ways to solve the more complex ones. I have really enjoyed the “Secret Rooms”, which are extra rooms you can enter with one puzzle. There is one in each Chapter of the game and they are worthwhile to complete. I have enjoyed seeing these through to the end particularly the one in Chapter 2 as the polite conversation is a wonderful touch. The difficulty obviously increases but I think this happens at a rate that doesn’t make it too difficult as it gets harder, although Chapter 6 and 7 seem to be a bigger jump than between previous Chapters to me. They have obviously struck a fair balance for the skill level and progression. That said I still have some more puzzles (and possibly difficulty spikes) to go.
The areas at the end of each Chapter add to the information that you can gain about the crew and what has happened prior to Ava’s awakening. Some have lovely touches such as a photo, or writing regarding Alan Turing’s other work, whilst others suggest how vast the International Space Agency are and the importance of whatever work the team are assigned to is. I highly recommend exploring these areas as they allow you to discover some interesting information.
The dialogue that goes between Ava and T.O.M., and later some other characters, evolves the story slowly. The dialogue also has some of the more obvious references to the Turing Test. Personally, the dialogue is a really interesting way to build the story and establish a growing sense that something is not quite right, that there is more to this than meets the eye and an uneasy tone of AI interaction perhaps not being ideal. I find this is done in such an effective way that I am keen to get to the next puzzle and hear what is said next. The logs that can be found between chapters are interesting as well so take a listen to them too.
The Turing Test is an interesting puzzle game that I am looking forward to completing in time (I can’t quite bring myself to play it yet). If you enjoy puzzle games, trying to figure out ways to get to the next room and the next puzzle then this game could be for you. If you liked Portal then this style will likely be a game on your list to play, but note that this has a slightly darker tone to it with the use of AI whilst Portal had some more humour.
Have you played The Turing Test? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments.