The masterfully crafted puzzles in an engaging atmosphere make Quern - Undying Thoughts a piece of art. The game is a perfect example of what a puzzle game can be, when it’s not just bunch of puzzles glued together.
Quern is a must-have game for puzzle enthusiasts. At 25$ this is one game that has a very good dollar per hour of game play ratio. It could also be a great gift for non-gamers who have an interest in puzzles as it's simple to understand the play mechanics and it should run fine on any system.
This game is awesome and I was sad when I had completed it. The puzzles are great and the game graphics are amazing. If you are a fan of the Myst series, then this will certainly have your mouth watering! This game immerses you in its world, and the puzzles in the game can have you pulling your hair out, but at the same time have you in awe at their design! I would highly recommend this game!
Quern – Undying Thoughts is an excellent first-person puzzle game that’s likely to be doubly special to anyone who spent hours with Riven in years past. Reminiscent of both that style of storytelling and of puzzle design, it’s an excellent homage in an era suddenly packed full of Myst homages...A few subpar puzzles and some ill-paced backtracking sometimes get in the way of Quern’s ambitions, but my standard adventure game advice applies: Just check a walkthrough if you really feel the need to. It’s worth seeing through to the end.
What Obduction could have been? What Obduction should have been! This captures the tone, the atmosphere, and the spirit of the Myst genre to a tee. A living, believable world where the puzzles are more a part of the world's function than mere gameplay elements. Clever, ingenious puzzle and environment design, coupled with incredible audio direction, and an enthralling story really does make for an adventure any Myst fan would be remiss to miss out on.
Absolutely the best puzzle game I have played in a decade and a half.
Atmosphere: 10/10. The atmosphere in Quern is much like that of Riven. It feels like you are exploring an area that has been in isolation from the rest of humanity for thousands of years, and their technology has largely taken a different path. It is refreshingly foreign, which is a great background for a puzzle game. Puzzles often fit nicely into the environment--nothing seems out of place.
Puzzle Variety: 10/10. Nearly every puzzle was very different from the last, but some puzzle elements are revisited throughout the game, often with some sort of twist. Often, puzzles would somehow involve the environment, so careful observation helped out a lot. No puzzle ever became dull, and I feel I could replay this game immediately and not become bored with literally any puzzle. Some puzzles even change with each try, or each play through.
Puzzle difficulty: 9/10. Puzzles varied in difficulty, but most provided a distinct challenge, offering just enough information to solve the puzzle, while still making you do a lot of thinking. There were a few instances where I gave up and looked up a walkthrough, but I usually found that my failure was my own fault. The game had given me enough information in order to solve a puzzle, but I had failed to remember something, or just didn't look around quite enough. There were only maybe one or two puzzles where I thought the game didn't provide enough information on how to solve a puzzle. Most were expertly crafted.
Game Mechanics: 8/10. Quern has an in-game screenshot/note-taking system, which is awesome and I used it often, but I often found myself taking notes with a pen and paper as well for convenience or speed. You can lock your camera view by pressing right click, which is really convenient. I felt the inventory was nicely done. You have an option to get a hint about any given inventory item, but since the puzzles are so well designed, I only elected to get a hint in one or two instances.
Sound: 10/10. The music just fit--I don't know how else to describe it. It was not intrusive, nor was it out of place. Sounds always fit the environment, and added to the immersive atmosphere.
Bottom Line: 10/10. It took me about 14 hours to play through once, and I will undoubtedly play it again. I bought it on a Steam sale, but had I known the quality of this game, I would easily recommend it or buy it myself at full price. A game like this hasn't been around for 15+ years, and if you like puzzle games, you simply cannot pass this one up.
So, you are down here, in review section, to find out, if you want to spent your money, and most importantly, your time on this game? Let me help you simply by answering one question what Quern is.
Quern is the game, in which you will spent first 10-15 minutes to fix motion blur effect and by optimising graphic setting, because your computer with 1050 TI inside is not able to provide you 60fps in game with skyrim of 2011 graphic and you will try to play with gamepad, but you will switch to mouse and keyboard soon, because xbox gamepad in this game is works awful!
"Okay, but why you've spent 20 hour in this game?!" - you will ask me and my - because you will forget about this problems within 15 minutes and after that you will enjoy the game!
This is great game based on riddle solving mechanic. Quern is offering a interesting story, elaborated world with good puzzles, that are seamlessly sewn into it. Riddles looks differently, so you are not tired for solving same thing over and over again, with different coplexity levels, which gaves you a time to rest after a hard puzzle on which you might have spent several hours and also important to mention that you won't be able to create a one single formula to solve all of them as it's been done in many other games. If you still reading the comments and hesitating - go and play this game, belive me, you won't regret!
For me this game will now on stay on the same level as Witcher, Hellblade, Dishonored and other great games in which I have spent my time with pleasure.
A gem of game! The true spiritual successor to Myst. Nominally, Obduction should carry that title as the original Myst creators were involved with Obduction. However, with all due respect to Obduction, the latter feels unfinished and leaves one feeling somewhat empty.
Quern - Undying Thoughs on the other hand is full of charm and draws the player into the world in a similar way to Myst and Riven. Graphics, ambient sounds and musical score are all wonderful.
I fully enjoyed playing Quern and would love to see a successor from the same team.
The only two points of criticism I have are:
1. The story is a bit thin. Essentially the vast majority of it unfolds very quickly and there is only a small further point of interest added further down the road. The world building in terms of the story could have been significantly richer, but having said that the ending and informing the player of their choices works so much better than that of Obduction.
2. Some of the puzzles feel like artificial hurdles. I'm exaggerating a bit but imagine a road which you cannot follow anymore unless you solve a Rubik's cube. In Quern's story, it somewhat makes sense for the player to encounter such artificial puzzles, but I would have much preferred if all puzzles had been organically integrated into the environment and story. This is where Riven excelled and Quern didn't feel as strong as in its other aspects.
BTW, I loved the notebook which allowed me to attach my own written notes to snapshots of scenes/objects. The automatically expanding/developing map with both player position and orientation indication was also much appreciated. In the past, I drew those maps with pencil and paper and that was part of the fun, but I feel nothing gets lost with a game supported map that doesn't show areas one hasn't explored yet.
Overall, a 100% recommendation from me and congratulations to the developers for this beautiful result.
SummaryDiscover the truth about Quern’s past, unfold the mysteries of its present, and be the explorer who shapes its future. Quern introduces reusable puzzle mechanics to the classic genre, making the player think about the game as a whole, and not just as a series of individual challenges.