Review – The Entropy Centre

Upon starting The Entropy Centre for the first time, you are greeted with a really bizarre intro cutscene of a planet blowing up, and your eventual awakening inside a derelict laboratory, with no humans to be seen, just a handful of AIs to interact with. It takes approximately 3.2 milliseconds to realize this game’s main source of inspiration is none other than Portal. If that alone wasn’t obvious enough, the moment the game introduces its main gameplay gimmick, the coattail riding becomes even more apparent.

Handheld Entropy Device

A gun. Clearly. Duh.

If Portal was about, uh, portals, The Entropy Centre is about rewinding time in order to solve its multitude of puzzles. You have your own portal gun Handheld Entropy Device, a talking gun which allows you to modify the space-time from some designated objects. In short, it allows you to fix bridges, reverting them back to when they weren’t broken, or rewinding the location of a cube, allowing you to move past two switches at once, for instance. It’s hard to convey the game’s mechanics in words, but they are actually really intuitive once you see them in action. Not to mention the fact that, due to the simplicity of its controls, it plays like a dream, and runs like another dream as well.

It does help that, for the most part, the game’s puzzles are well-designed and presented in a gradual increase in difficulty. It does feel a bit random at times, mostly due to odd clashes with the game’s plot, but for the most part, they are pretty good. That being said, reverting the time presence of a handful of objects is nowhere near as inventive or open-ended as creating portals to solve puzzles. The Entropy Centre is fun for one sitting, with not exactly a ton of replayability once you beat it for the first time.

The Entropy Centre Humor

Oh, they occasionally do. They even ask for us to clap every once in a while.

Another thing that differentiates The Entropy Centre from its source of inspiration is its presentation. By no means is it bad, but while everything in Portal looked unique, fresh, iconic, the same cannot be said about the space station you’re exploring in this game. It’s not a bad looking game at all, but it does suffer from that whole “Unreal assets” vibe all throughout its runtime, with a lot of said assets being repeated ad nauseum throughout the game.

Another slight issue is in the voice acting. It is good, don’t get me wrong, but it just doesn’t fit with the story being told onscreen. You wake up, confused as hell, not knowing why you’re stuck inside a derelict space station and being forced to complete puzzles “for the sake of entropy”, yet you communicate with whoever you meet in a less desperate manner the situation would suggest. The sense of urgency you’d expect from the situation at hand isn’t conveyed in the voice of your protagonist.

The Entropy Centre

Just a broken walkway. Par for the course. No need to panic.

All in all, The Entropy Centre is a charming and inventive puzzle platformer. It’s nowhere near as memorable or innovative as its main cake-smelling source of inspiration, nor is it particularly replayable, but as a one-off, mind-bending puzzle adventure, yup, this gets the job done with honors for the extention of its runtime, more than making up for what little issues I’ve found in its voice acting and presentation departments as well.

Graphics: 7.5

It looks pretty good, although it oozes that whole “Unreal assets” vibe all throughout its runtime.

Gameplay: 9.0

It plays like a dream due its sheer simplicity and responsiveness. The whole rewind schtick is pretty inovative, resulting in some excellent, although occasionally obtuse, puzzles.

Sound: 7.5

While the voice acting is good, it feels a bit too robotic, and I mean that from the human protagonist. The conveyance of emotions in this game is off-putting as hell.

Fun Factor: 7.5

It lacks a certain je ne sais quoi from its main sources of inspiration, not being anywhere near as iconic or replayable as them, but as a one-off mind-bending puzzle adventure, yup, The Entropy Centre gets the job done with honors.

Final Verdict: 8.0

The Entropy Centre is available now on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X and PC.

Reviewed on Reviewed on Intel i7-12700H, 16GB RAM, RTX 3060 6GB.

A copy of The Entropy Centre was provided by the publisher.