The Turing Test | Review
The Turing Test is a first person puzzler from the developers of ‘Pneuma: Breath of Life’ that explores the phenomena of consciousness and challenges the meaning of human intuition. Take control of Ava Turing, an engineer for the International Space Agency (ISA), and progress through a narrated story of introspection and morality whilst uncovering the hidden mysteries of Europa. Delve into The Turing Test’s human interaction puzzles and arm yourself with logical and methodical thinking. Take on tests designed in such a way that only a human could solve them. In an evolving story based on mankind’s inherent need to explore, protect and survive; players search deeper into Europa’s ice crusted core and transcend the line between man and machine. Investigate the truth behind the ISA research base on Jupiter’s moon Europa. Solve puzzles using your Energy Manipulation Tool (EMT) to transfer power out from one object and into another. Power up and take control of artificially intelligent machines, manipulate giant structures and solve complex tasks; all woven into a multi-layered story based on the human struggle for control. The Turing Test can only be experienced through the interactive medium of video games. The Turing Test sparks your synapses into action in this electrifying new first person puzzler, as players learn the true cost of retaining human morality.
I love puzzle games, I love space games, I love a good story whilst I’m playing. The Turing Test from Bulkhead Interactive has all this in one lovely package.
Now gamers of a certain age will get the following reference and if you don’t fall into this category then I strongly urge you to seek out 2001: A Space Odyssey. There is a character in this game that reminds me strongly of the ships computer in the film HAL 9000.
You control Ava Turing, an engineer from the International Space Agency. You are awoken from deep sleep by TOM the ships AI computer and he informs you of your mission, which is to travel down to the base on Europa and investigate the whereabouts of your crew mates.
Upon landing on the surface of Europa you walk into the base and discover that all the rooms have been turned into puzzles to solve should you wish to gain further entry. The reason for TOM waking you is that the puzzles can’t be solved by AI and can only be worked out by a human (this is the basis of the actual Turing Test ).
The puzzles start out easy enough and TOM is talking to you all the time, explaining that the tests need a human mind to solve them. At this point you start wondering why the crew has gone to such lengths to keep TOM at bay. As the game progresses the story unfolds and you learn what has happened to the ground team and ultimately why they put up such a complex set of puzzles to keep TOM from finding them.
The game is split up into seven chapters, each having 10 rooms or puzzles to solve. There are several side rooms to explore too and some of the puzzles there are quite difficult but do-able with a little thought and lateral thinking (things that an AI can’t do)
The challenges you face in your quest for answers are usually factored around how to open doors and get from point A to point B. You do this using a combination of batteries that you find and also by using your Energy Manipulation Tool (EMT) , which is basically a little gun that you pinch power spheres from one place and shoot them into another.
You can see me play the prologue and Chapter 1 in the video below.
I found the voice acting very good and that added greatly to my enjoyment whilst playing through the game. I’ve played games before where the actors just dial it in and you can tell that they just weren’t feeling it (I’m looking at you Peter Dinklage), but here you can tell that they enjoyed what they were doing and it certainly adds to how you feel when you’re playing.So props to all the actors involved including Amelia Tyler (Dr Sarah Brook) and Jay Britton (Captain Daniel Maclean and Chris Maclean)
As I touched on in the video, I strongly suggest seeking out and listening to all the audio logs that can be found, they add greatly to the story and if you miss out on them then you’ll be missing half the story that is being told. So take a little time and have a look around.
I’ve read about The Turing Test in anticipation of the games release and lots of people were comparing it to Portal. There are similarities, but the puzzles in The Turing Test are easier than Portal and it has a darker story than the humour you get with Portal. I also found myself comparing it to Qube which is another fantastic puzzle game.
Graphics wise, The Turing Test does the job for me. Clean, sterile looking rooms and runs smoothly when you’re on the move. The ambient sounds also add to the atmosphere of being alone (except for TOM of course) and the background music is very soothing which helps alot when you’re trying to figure out what to do with your gun full of blue balls next.
I can’t say too much about the story without spoiling it for you, so I won’t. It’s very good though, so buy the game and discover it for yourself.
The only niggle I had is sometimes you get presented with a spinning circle of dots(seen below) as the next room loads, not a big niggle but it’s worth mentioning as you don’t expect this sort of thing on Next Gen consoles.
My initial review upon finishing the game consisted of 3 words – BUY THIS NOW. Sadly though I don’t think Jon would have published that so I’ve tried to explain why I thought that in the words above.
I’ve played quite a few games in my 46 years on the planet and this one is one of the best.
I’ve no hesitation in giving it a hugely deserved 9/10.
Have some bonus screenshots too.