The Talos Principle



Genre:    Adventure 

Developer:   Croteam

Publisher:   Devolver Digital, Croteam  

Released:   Dec. 11, 2014              

Requirements (minimum):

  • OS: Vista and later, 32- or 64-bit 
  • Processor: 2 GHz dual core or higher
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Geforce 8600 or AMD Radeon HD 3600 with 512 MB VRAM or Intel HD 4000
  • Storage: 5 GB available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • Additional Notes: Windows XP 32-bit (with Service Pack 3) can run the legacy version of the game, but it is no longer being updated.



By flotsam


The Talos Principle


This came out in 2014 and passed me by. I found it about 6 months ago, and it has been a constant plaything since. I haven't finished, but have played enough to be confident in what I am about to tell you about it.

Portal 2 is one of my favourite endeavours. This is the closest thing I have played to that, and it holds its own. Which in my books is high praise indeed.

There are two games here, or more accurately two layers. The first is a first person puzzle box, one where you utilise a range of objects to successfully complete outdoor "rooms" (Grecian gardens is probably a more apt description). You might have a box which can be placed on a pressure pad to trigger a gate to open, or used to create height for another item, or even to block the path of a gliding sphere that is potentially fatal and distinctly in the way. You might also have a jamming device, which can disable gates, gun turrets and other things. Or a thing like a theodolite which is used to connect beams of light from a source to an objective, generally to open a gate.

More often than not you will have a combination of these things, or multiple of them.

Your prize if you can complete your room is a Tetris-like piece, which when you have enough of the right pieces are used to unlock more areas and move further through the realm.

The game does an excellent job of working you into its complexities. The early rooms have limited objects, and are completed fairly easily. As you move on, the complexity increases, and you will have more things and more interconnectedness between them to manage. Opening spaces in a room will usually give you access to additional items, each of them integral in the ultimate solution assuming you can work out how to move them to where you need to use them.

I sat for many a long moment, thinking about what I had, and how to place them to perhaps move on. You might open a gate in one way, and then do something else to keep it open while you retrieve the earlier objects in order to use them somewhere else. I put things on other things to direct beams over walls, hid behind boxes to avoid turrets and spheres, and carried things back and forth and back again. There is some timing in some solves.

Thinking creatively and laterally is important. So is trying things and failing. You can "die", which simply returns you to the start of the room, and you can reset (i.e. restart) the room at any time with the X key. Some solutions are ingeniously simple, others "straightforwardly" complex.

All are logical, and puzzlingly fun.

The second layer involves an existential dialogue on what it is/might be to be human. You awaken with no idea of what went before, and are immediately confronted by the alleged voice of God. Your endeavours derive from the task he/she gives you,

You will soon encounter a somewhat passive/aggressive library assistant, accessed through terminals dotted around the environment. What starts as assistance shifts to an interrogation on morals, and then morphs into a full on philosophical confrontation. Where what and who you are is relevant. Reflecting on the nature of the original Talos gives even more reason to wonder.

You can (at least where I am at) ignore this entirely and just solve the rooms. But if you did, and while the assistant isn’t GLaDOS, you would be missing a whole heap of what is on offer.

The game plays with the WASD keys and you steer and interact with the mouse. It autosaves as you enter or complete rooms. It looks and sounds as good as it plays.

Maybe there are answers at the end. Maybe there aren’t, and yet that will be an answer in itself. Regardless, if you like puzzle rooms and pondering and don’t mind a bit of “actiony” failing and trying again, I can’t imagine you won’t like this.


I played on:

OS: Windows 10, 64 Bit

Processor: Intel i7-6700 4GHz


Video card: AMD Radeon RX 580 8192MB


GameBoomers Review Guidelines

December 2018

design copyright© 2018 GameBoomers Group

 GB Reviews Index