Man or machine? This is the question we are constantly asked as we play through The Turing Test. Inspired by Alan Turing’s work on artificial intelligence, The Turing Test presents us with many questions and almost as many answers. It’s a thought-provoking puzzler that will very likely remind you of Portal, although at the same time it is quite different.
Ava Turing is woken from her cryogenic slumber to find that all the other crew members are missing. She descends to the station on Europa and must make her way through a series of puzzles to find out more about her missing comrades. As the story unfolds, the line between man and machine begins to blur as Ava converses with the space station’s AI robot, named Tom. One of Tom’s best features that I feel the need to mention is that he sounds like a mix of Christopher Lee and Alan Rickman, which turns out is the most soothing voice I’ve ever heard. And yet at the same time the things he says are so unsettling. Somehow his voice cultivates feelings of both trust and skepticism, which works extremely well with the message the game portrays.
The puzzles in The Turing Test were fun and challenging, but not so difficult that I ever needed to rage quit. I felt that this game had really good flow, in the sense that it kept me interested and challenged at a consistent pace. However the flow was interrupted every once in a while. The loading screens in this game were very abrupt and long. There wasn’t a fade to black or anything. You are walking down a hallway, and suddenly you’re sitting at a loading screen for a number of minutes. Additionally, the division between each chapter of the game seemed arbitrary. For the most part, there wasn’t any one major event in a chapter that would be a cliffhanger begging to be resolved by the next chapter. It was really just a loading screen, an achievement saying you finished a chapter, and then you carry on where you left off a couple of minutes previous.
That being said, there were many elements of this game that were just excellent. The mechanics are very simple and smooth. The music was beautiful and fit well with the space aesthetic. And the puzzles were creative and visually pleasing. I loved the way that the story unfolds as much as you decide to discover it. You could easily blast right through and get the main idea, but the game also rewards the explorers with extra details about each of the crew members and what could have happened to them. Tom also has a clever quip from time to time that I couldn’t help but giggle at, which is always a welcome feature as far as I’m concerned.
Choppy loading screens aside, I really enjoyed The Turing Test and would easily recommend it to anybody looking for a really good puzzler game with a compelling story and a beautiful soundtrack.
The Turing Test is available now on Steam and Xbox One for $19.99.
What do you think? Are you going to pick up a copy of the Turing Test? Let us know in the comments below!
Smooth gameplay mechanics
Abrupt, long loading screens
Arbitrary division into chapters