Turing Test, The Review
Welcome to our CHEATfactor Game Review of The Turing Test. We review the game and then factor in how the available cheats affect the overall game experience. For better or worse, our reviews will help you decide whether or not to use cheats when playing the game.
In the 90s every game with a gun was a Doom clone. They had nothing to do with ID software's marine in hell shooter but it had such a huge impact on the gaming world that it was hard to avoid. Similarly, every first person puzzle game...especially those with a gun element is compared to Portal. Some great games can get looked over simply due to their similarity to a classic game. That's why it kills me to do this...
The Turing Test is a lot like Portal. Like...a lot. It's a first person puzzle game set around a woman waking up with an artificial intelligence guiding her through a series of test chambers. Play through long enough and The Turing Test starts to create an identity all it's own but it sadly didn't try to emulate it's inspirations personality and never gives you a reason to care about it's characters or the world they live in. The Turing Test isn't a bad game, and people interested in Portal style games will likely find a lot to love here, it's just an unoriginal one.
You play as Ava Turing, an astronaut and scientist who is sent on a mission to Jupiter's Moon of Europa to search for resources and of course intelligent life. Everything is going great until a few years in when Ava is awoken from stasis by an AI known as T.O.M. who tells her that he's lost contact with the rest of the crew and of course you're going to have to find out why. Even more on the nose, T.O.M. tells you that the crew's living quarters have been turned into a series of test chambers and he knows just the person with two arms and two legs that's right for the job to try to solve them. In this respect it feels like The Turing Test is almost trying to be Portal, like the developers main concern when creating The Turing Test was to find a reason to have a series of test chambers, which honestly after completing the game I'm still not convinced they came up with.
That's not to say that there's no original thought in The Turing Test, in fact far from it. Play far enough into the game and The Turing Test asks some pretty daring questions about what it means to be a human and the way we treat any other type of intelligence. The problem though is that you almost have to go out of your way to find these questions, and have to search even further to find any sort of answer to those questions. The game mostly hides the story in discoverable audio logs, which is something a lot of games do, but the difference is that in The Turing Testyou're forced to stand completely still for the entire time that you're listening to an audio log. The. Entire. Time. The story literally gets in the way of playing the actual game. Oh and remember how funny Portal and it's sequel were? The Turing Test isn't; to be fair it never tries to be but it sure could use that bit of personality.
So how does it play? Well, like Portal...but with electricity rather than portals. That may be simplifying thing a bit much but The Turing Test makes a habit of doing that itself. I had fun with the The Turing Test but it was definitely fleeting, unlike the game it uses as inspiration and several others that have come out since like The Talos Principle, the answers to a lot of the puzzles were very obvious right from the start. This is mostly because the vast majority of the puzzles in The Turing Test came down to two mechanics; either moving fuse boxes from one spot to another or using your multi-tool to suck electricity from one wall and using it to power something else.
Once you figure out these mechanics, you've pretty much seen what the game has to show you and you'll just have to understand little tweaks. I get that Portal heavily relied on the mechanic that gives the game it's name but it constantly gave you new things to try (especially it's sequel). What's more, the game never gave me that Ah-ha moment that other games did. That is, except for the few “hidden” test chambers that aren't so hidden but offer some pretty unique twists on the established formula. Why the limited the potential of this game so much is mind boggling.
I completely understand that it may not be exactly fair to compare The Turing Test to a game like Portal that has made such a lasting impression on the gaming industry but The Turing Test makes it nearly impossible not to. Is The Turing Test a fun game? Yes. Is it worth playing? Yes. But don't be surprised if you start to remember all the good times you had with Glados and company in the process.
Joe started off writing about video games for small fan sites when he realized he should probably do something with his communications degree and didn't want to get into the grind of daily reporting. Joining the team in late 2008, Joe is the featured game reviewer for Cheat Happens, producing up to 10 CHEATfactor Game Reviews per month.
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