This is Gaming Cypher’s Xbox One review (done by John Pruitt) of The Turing Test developed by Derby, UK-based Bulkhead Interactive and published by Square Enix Collective.
Just as the name implies, The Turing Test opens up a dialogue between man and machine that confuses our definition of intelligence. If you enjoy puzzle solving games similar to Portal or the Talos Principle, coupled with a very interesting narrative, then you may want to add this game to your stockpile.
The atmosphere is enveloped in science fiction with a good soundtrack. The soundtrack itself is very fitting and it loops with seamless transition. The graphics are also very appealing, and the cinematic landing onto Europa is visually stunning. The attention to detail is incredibly well done as well. For instance, the designers gave the ground crew so much personality, and you don’t even have the chance to see the majority of them in person. You are given the chance to go through their rooms, see their bios, and investigate what they are interested in, like music, art, and family. The level designs can feel repetitive at times, but you will find that the puzzles can be very clever and enjoyable. The world-building mostly comes from the dialogue between Ava and T.O.M. but you really feel immersed in this station through the combination of visuals, sounds, and backstory.
The game takes place in the somewhat distant future on one of Jupiter’s moons, Europa. You play as Ava, an astronaut having suddenly been awoken to an emergency occurring within the station, and you are accompanied by an AI, T.O.M, who engages with you in conversation throughout the journey. The voice acting is eloquent and engaging, often times reminding me of the Talos Principle. You may find that both games complement each other regarding their themes of choice, the human condition, and personhood. There also other motifs that explore creativity, deception, and the difficulty that surrounds choice. The interactions between Ava and T.O.M. are thought provoking and very philosophical. T.O.M. even brings up the Chinese Room Thought Experiment of his own volition, and that caused me to have mixed feelings regarding the land crew and T.O.M. because of the idea of deceiving intelligence. Naturally I thought that I was being manipulated, but I could only focus on the puzzles in order to progress.
The puzzles are not too overwhelming, but they progressively get harder to solve. You may get stuck occasionally, but the more you play the more you get into the rhythm and effectively solve even more puzzles. You use a tool called an E.M.T. which can carry little balls of blue energy and place them into open power boxes. There are also boxes that you will have to pick up and put in the wall without using the E.M.T. You also encounter different kinds of power boxes and wires that are affected by time and whether there is something obstructing the flow of energy. Some puzzles require you to sprint to beat a timer or to jump over obstacles. At the end of every puzzle you can keep track of which puzzle and chapter you are on thanks to a monitor at every checkpoint. This makes it very easy to keep track of where you are in the story. The game itself is not very complicated, but it feels like a giant captcha that only a human can solve.
Th Turing Test is a very good game that you can easily enjoy without having to feel rushed. I thought that the incentive to go on mainly came from listening to Ava and T.O.M. speaking to each other. The Turing Test is as thought provoking as it is entertaining. I thoroughly enjoyed solving the puzzles and feeling a sense of accomplishment. The mystery surrounding the station is especially fun to unravel, and it makes you question human nature. I think a fair rating for this game would be 9.5 out of 10. I would definitely recommend this game to my friends.