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4 Nov 2022

REVIEW: The Entropy Centre on PC (Steam)

Review by Jon Donnis
I do enjoy a good puzzle game, so when Stubby Games sent me a copy of The Entropy Centre to review, I was rather excited.

The Entropy Centre at its core is a first person, time manipulation, puzzle game. Think Portal, but you use time instead of portals.

After a weird dream like intro sequence, which has you watch the earth get destroyed, you find yourself on a huge space station in orbit of the earth, you don't really know why you or there, or why it is seemingly deserted. Are you the last human alive? You quickly make contact with an AI called ASTRA and you find yourself a gun, but this gun is not for killing people, it is for manipulating time and moving things. ASTRA appears on a little screen on the gun, and will help you find your way to the centre of The Entropy Centre whereby you can hopefully save mankind.

This gun can reverse time within a short period of time, but only of the object you are pointing it at. So, if you find a wall that has collapsed, fire the gun at it, and time will reverse, the wall will un-collapse, and then you may be able to pass by. Need to get into a room, but there is a pressure pad that need to be activated, to unlock the door, no problem, you can use the gun to lift up a box and place it on the pad. But wait a minute, you need to activate two pads to open a second door, but you only have one box, no problem, put the box on pad 2 first, stand about for a few seconds, then put it on pad 1, now go through the door, once through, turn and activate the gun on the box and reverse time, the box will now move through time, and on pad 2 and open door 2 for you to pass through, of course door 1 then closes, but you have already gone through. And that is how a basic puzzle can be solved.

You can also see a track of where you have moved an item, to help you remember where it will go when you reverse time.

As you can imagine the puzzles quickly get harder and harder, and you will find yourself going crazy trying to think in a 4th dimension, that being time, something we are simply not used to. The game advertises itself as "mind-bending", and perhaps that is more to do with the visuals and the story, but for me, it was very much about me trying to think in ways I am simply not used to.

There are other things you will need to do, pass by electrified areas, or areas on fire, reverse time on events, watch out for falling pillars and platforms, and quickly zap them before you get killed. Throw in some witty writing and voice overs, and you have a pretty good puzzle game here, that will challenge even the most accomplished of critical thinkers.

The game is fantastically optimised with regards to graphics, the graphics are of the highest standard, and everything moved very smooth and looked great, even on my mid-range PC. I am forever moaning at developers for not optimising games for anything but a £5000 PC, so when I see a game that looks and plays great, but doesn't need me to change the video settings to low I am very grateful.

The Good
The game starts off easy, but the learning curve is pretty steep, this game forces you to think in a way that is just not natural, and when you get the hang of things, and start doing it correctly, the feeling of accomplishment is huge! 

The graphics are fantastic, the voice acting and sound effects are all very good.

A lot of puzzles and areas to pass, and will keep you busy for a while, and if you do get stuck there are some playthroughs on YouTube to help, however even if you do use one, you won't feel a need to keep going back, as you really will want to try and solve it yourself.

The Bad
Some puzzles just broke my brain, and I had to step away, this game can get very tough if you are not a critical thinker, and there are a few moments where you won't quite know what to do, and will continually die, with no real help or direction. (This is where YouTube came in for me)

This is a very high-quality game, from top to bottom every aspect is almost perfect. The puzzles are hard but fair, you just need to figure them out.
My only gripe is the lack of a proper hint system.

I score The Entropy Centre on PC (Steam) a very strong 9/10. One of the best puzzle games out there.

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