The Turing Test Review | Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox, PC

The Turing Test Review | Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox, PC


Wake up from cryosleep as you explore one
of Jupiter’s moons trying to find out what happened to the rest of your crew. This is the Turing Test, a first-person puzzle
shooter all taking place in outer space. It’s been available on PC since 2016 but makes
its debut on Switch this week. Taking place in the distant future, we wake
up from cryosleep in the shoes of Ava Turing. A scientist working for the ISA as an explorer
on Jupiter’s moon Euphora. While we were asleep, the rest of the crew
started the expedition before us but have since gone missing. Now it’s up to us to slowly unravel the mystery
of what happened to them while also exploring this supposed barren moon. Story beats and lore are slowly explained
as we make our way deeper into the moon. Usually, this comes through environmental
storytelling found in the first person puzzles we’re solving ala Portal like gameplay. Additionally, conversations between Ava and
her AI companion that work with the ISA, slowly uncover new details that only further add
depth to the crew’s mystery. While the information is slowly dripped out
at a consistent pace, it didn’t really surprise me until very later half of the game that
honestly did some pretty darn cool things. Still, a lot of the lore can be guessed easily
if you’re able to pick up any of the easter eggs along the 6-hour campaign. Right off the back, many people are going
to compare The Turing Test to Portal simply because both are first-person puzzle shooters
and well Portal really did lead that genre with its popularity. That’s not to say those comparisons are wrong
because these two games share a lot in common but that’s not the defining factor of The
Turing Test. Although this does take place in a mostly
white-colored science facility too, the puzzle mechanics offer enough new elements that felt
different from the rest. For example, our go-to gun uses energy orbs
to activate switches and other machines around us, all vital to solving puzzles. These puzzles come in the shape of rooms that
usually feel like they give us one or two little resources in order to solve the darn
thing. It’s in those many instances that this puzzle
game also feels more like a resource management system as I was tasked to figure out how to
open 4 doors with only 2 keys. While challenging at times, the puzzles never
felt impossible and I was able to solve most of them relatively quickly. Over time I’d run into rooms that would introduce
a new element, may it be a magnet device hovering over the room or a lever that switches the
circuit boards around a door. While stunned to find new elements at first,
I’d always find the fun in figuring out exactly how they worked and how the new puzzle device
changed previously solved puzzles. Aside from the core rooms or puzzles, occasionally
I’d come across alternative pathways that lead to new optional puzzles. These puzzles usually felt more challenging
than the main puzzles but also felt worth exploring because of the lore they provided. These extra sections would offer more information
on the crew’s status, further developing the story and enticing me to keep moving forward. By the end of my puzzle journey, I felt content
with the gameplay. From one perspective, it felt like a proper
successor to a lot of the great puzzle shooters in the genre but at the same time, didn’t
reinvent the wheel or do anything astonishingly well that made it shine above the rest. It was adequate though I did love the multiple
endings by the end of it that got me to go back and change my choices. The Turing Test fits the bill and that’s to
say it’s stylized exactly as you’d expect. It’s a first-person shooter set in unexplored
space and well it looks the part. As you make your way into the depths of this
research facility, you’re surrounded by white and grey walls with subtle glimpses of color
coming from the lights and LEDs on the hardware around you. It’s simplistic with little details to go
around but there’s beauty in minimalism. Playing on Nintendo Switch, I noticed the
significant drop in the resolution that made this port look fuzzier compared to its PC
or other console counterparts similar to the Doom Nintendo Switch port job. Unlike that though, this game runs at a mostly
solid 30 frames per second though it does drop once you get into the more complex rooms
with moving objects. While I enjoyed the visual presentation, for
the most part, I couldn’t say the same for the music. It’s not that it’s necessarily bad because
the ominous playing piano playing as I enter a new room was fitting, however, it also got
repetitive. For some reason, the same tracks are used
over and over and during the course of the six hours of the campaign, it just got boring. Luckily it’s not all bad though because the
voice delivery for Ava and her AI companion are both done well. Ava didn’t feel too over-dramatized for the
situation at hand while AI Tom, came off as a soothing ASMR voice. The Turing Test is an adequate first-person
puzzle shooter that doesn’t reinvent the wheel but does just enough to justify it existing
among some of the best in the genre. Its story and lore were certainly the appeals
that lured me in as I made my way through each of the puzzle rooms that never felt overly
challenging or complicated. For its 6 hour adventure at a $20 price tag,
it’s a good adventure to go on on a weekend but one you should perhaps wait until it goes
on sale or juggle with your other options in the genre first.

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