The Entropy Centre – A Portal By Any Other Name

The Entropy Centre Preview

The Entropy Centre preview quickly shows its ancestry from the opening screen. Ancestry traced right back to Valve’s other game franchise besides the Half-Life franchise. In 2007 Valve released Portal. The Entropy Center is from a solo indie developer, Stubby Games and published by Playstack.

Portal is a room escape puzzler with what has become an iconic gameplay mechanic, the portal gun. The portal gun opens, Tada!, portals. You solve cleverly designed puzzles by manipulating objects and accessing unreachable areas of a room, or rooms. You do this by placing entry and exit portals on walls, floors, or ceilings.

The Entropy Centre takes the Portal concept and re-imagines it with a twist. Rather than escaping rooms via portals, you manipulate objects through reversing entropy. What this means is you move objects back and forth through time. The object of this movement is to have the block or switch end up in a position that opens a door or throws a switch.

Even the setting is like Portal. You are not in a lab but a space station, the titular Entropy Centre, orbiting earth. The stakes are high. Earth is ablaze because of an extinction level event. It is up to traverse from the outer edge of the space station to its very center. For at the center lies the solution to the salvation of the planet.

Instead of a portal gun, you are equipped with an AI Enhanced gun, designated as ASTRA. With ASTRA’s aid, you scan objects to find out their positional track through space and time. It’s akin to accessing the GPS records of a mobile device but for any object.

A trail of green cubes shows the track of an object. As you move the object through its path, the squares turn from green to red. This mechanic is used to place blocks on platforms that open doors, much like in Portal. Or place items in a spot that allows you to traverse over open areas, acting like a trampoline.

Gravity Gun Meet ASTRA

Other mechanics possible with ASTRA are the removal of rubble. By reversing time, you can take a pile of rubble and return the material to its original form, like a wall, or a group of pillars.

Of course, there will be enemies to battle or avoid or possibly turn to your side. These robots come across like Huey, Dewey, and Louie from the 1972 Bruce Dern SF flick – Silent Running.

To add a further sense of urgency, you will often see the earth and the damage being inflicted upon it. Part of the gameplay includes storing enough entropic energy to reverse the ruin that has befallen earth.

The Entropy Centre appears to be the first game from Stubby Games. Given that, this is an impressive effort from the solo developer. They have put themselves square in the spotlight by creating a game that visibly mimics the famous Portal franchise. The demo is impressive. It runs well, looks good, has a great atmosphere, and a sense of fun – nicely amplified by the Astra AI.

Coming Sometime This Year

This is one to keep an eye on. The game mechanics gave me a nostalgic smile. It gave me those same amazing feelings when playing Valve’s Portal. That’s no small feat and quite an accomplishment from a one-man development team. Couple that with the game’s sense of fun and endearing characters like ASTRA, and this game looks to be a winner.

No known release date is available, but the game is due this year. It will be available on most gaming platforms: Steam, PlayStation, and Xbox.

***Preview code provided by the publisher***