Game developer Stubby and publisher Playstack Revealing the Entropy Center during the Future Games Expo in June, and it immediately caught my attention. On the one hand, it seems to wear the Portal inspiration on its sleeve, an immediate draw for me. On the other hand, its puzzle game concept sounds new and unique: using weapons that go back in time on individual objects on a space station to prevent the Earth from exploding.
I continue to cover the game and Its various trailers fall, excited to finally get to work on it, wondering if it would match what those trailers presented. I’m happy to say it’s true, and then some. I respect that Stubby Games has no problem telling its Portal inspiration – why try to hide it? Portal is one of the best puzzle games ever created and it has inspired countless similar games. Mind you, The Entropy Center is very sci-fi, using an orange and blue color palette atop another brutal and space-based puzzle combo, and features a talking, guiding AI. you pass the goals in a funny way.
Where the Entropy Center sets itself apart from Portal and the rest of the puzzle genre is what its talking gun can do. You can pick up objects with it, which will be necessary to move them around a certain puzzle space, but more importantly, you can go back in time to a specific thing. Let’s say you have two puzzle pieces: one opens a door at the top of some stairs and the other opens a second door in addition to the first. If you place an orange decorative box on one cushion and step on the other, you will see both doors open, leading you to the exit of this puzzle room. But you have to walk through those doors, so that won’t work.
Instead, you need to use the gun to place the box on the last puzzle you need to activate and then move it to the first box you need to activate. In this case a door is present in the game, you need to go through the first door after using the box to activate the puzzle board connected to it and then, on the other side, shoot the reverse ray Time the gun into the box to switch it back to another pad, which will then open the final door. And there you have it – it’s a solved puzzle.
Each solved puzzle was met with a funny joke from my talking gun and a screen in the exit hallway that showed how long it took to solve the puzzle and how much entropy the station collected. This entropy is what powers the space station’s ability to reverse time. Like your gun, the station is equipped with a giant Death Star-like beam that can reverse time across the entire planet Earth, for example. My demo with The Entropy Center, which you can watch right now on PC as part of Steam Next Fest, ended with my protagonist witnessing the Earth explode. I imagine the conceit of the Entropy Center is that you have to solve enough puzzles on this space station to generate enough entropy to reverse the explosion of the Earth, saving all those living there.
It’s a fun sci-fi idea and I love that each puzzle seems to play into an overall story. Between that, the series of challenging puzzles in my hour-long demo and the Portal-style humor I could see served as a great foundation for the friendship between the protagonist and his special gun. her, getting me excited to see the final product next month.