E3 Hands-On: Solving Puzzles in The Turing Test

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

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The Turing Test

By: Quentin H.

One of the first games I demoed at E3 2016 was The Turing Test. Presumably named after the test developed by Alan Turing in the mid-1900’s that was designed to set a standard for how to tell when a machine can ‘think’, this game stars Ava Turing as she explores Jupiter’s moon Europa. During her exploration, Ava must solve puzzles to enter various rooms by manipulating energy from one object to another via her Energy Manipulation Tool that she carries around with her.

The Turing Test

You play as Ava Turing as she explores the moon of Europa.

The Turing Test demo picked up where I assume is fairly early in the game, since there was almost no setup of the game’s storyline. As I progressed through the demo, I would solve puzzles to go from room to room. The puzzles would always involve me either manipulating an energy cube that I could pick up, carry around and insert into slots to power a door, or I would grab a ball of energy and move it around to open a door. There was a strong, strong sense of Portal deja vu in The Turing Test, and at times I found myself thinking that I was playing a new version of the Valve classic instead.

As I continued forward, I would solve puzzles, moving more cubes and energy orbs around, and then go into the next room. I do not know if it was just because it was a demo, but there was zero storyline being presented to me as I went along. Instead, all I did was solve puzzles to get to the next room one after another. As a result, I was underwhelmed with the demo, and I stopped playing it after a bit more than ten minutes.

The Turing Test

You have to solve puzzles to enter more rooms by manipulating energy.

The website for The Turing Test states that it is a game where you can investigate the truth behind the International Space Agency’s research base on Europa and that you will go through a narrated story of introspection and morality. And, this may be true. However, from what I played of the demo, the storyline wasn’t present. As a result, I simply found myself getting tired of the puzzles rather quickly as a result of not having any context to place them in.

It is important to note, however, that the puzzles are rather well done and they are solvable with just a little bit of critical thinking. There was not a point that I could not actually figure out how to solve one after exploring my surroundings and using the tools I had on hand. In other words: this isn’t like┬ácertain other puzzle games, which sometimes required fantastic leaps in logic in order to solve a puzzle.

The Turing Test

Manipulate your environment to solve puzzles.

Currently, this title is scheduled to come out in August 2016 for Steam and Xbox One. I’ll go ahead and say that if you liked Portal, and you want a game like it, you’ll love The Turing Test. And I am positive that when the full game is released for Steam and Xbox One, there will be more of a storyline attached to the puzzles. But in the demo, I just wasn’t interested in playing for the long term.

All images were screencapped from videos provided by Bulkhead Interactive.

Are you excited for The Turing Test? What platform do you want to play it for? Let us know in the comments below!

About Quentin H.

I have been a journalist for oprainfall since 2015, and I have loved every moment of it. Do you want to do an interview? You can reach me at interviews@oprainfall.com