Remember as a kid there was always the educational games on the school’s PC? You know, Oregon Trail, the Magic School Bus, and other “interactive media” that was really there to give people information? Well, imagine one of those games if it was geared to a more modern audience and was actually a game. (That’s not an insult to Oregon Trail, that game was sweet.) That is exactly what Schrodinger’s Cat: Raiders of the Lost Quark is. A game that some 30-something science teacher who used to be big into video games would show his 8th grade class. The only difference is, this is way more a video game with some science lingo dropped in.
Schrodinger’s Cat (SC) is a puzzle platforming game where players control SC as he collects quarks that he can combine together to create items that help him navigate an area. There are four quarks in all: Up, Down, Top, and Bottom. Combining three together will create something. Three Up’s will create a helicopter that will allow SC to float in the air for a short period of time. Two bottoms and a Top will create a trampoline that SC can bounce on to reach higher grounds. There are 14 combinations to use, and each one comes with their own handy situation.
Platforms: PS4, XB1, PC
Price I’d pay: $9.99
SC has been tasked with rounding up all the dangerous particles in the Particle Zoo that have somehow escaped and are wrecking havoc. Utilizing the quarks he finds to capture them, he soon discovers something sinister is afoot and has to find out what is actually going on in the nucleus of the Zoo.
The game is divided up into areas with a certain number of primitive particles inhabiting the zone. The player must use quarks to reach these particles, stun them, and the capture them. That is the main objective of the game. It can be a rather challenging task at times. Reaching some particles can take some finesse, and experimenting with different combinations is a must to figure out how to capture some particles, but eventually, I started running into the issue of running out of quarks to combine.
This then forced me to have to backtrack to pick up more quarks for combining. It did get a bit frustrating on some of the more advanced levels. While this is very much a platforming game, the jumping feels a bit sluggish sometimes. It feels slightly floaty in some spots, while almost too responsive in others. It is difficult to explain, but I can almost say that 40% of the time, when I needed to make a jump, I was going to mess it up due to the jumping feeling off. Luckily, I have quarks at my disposal that can help me through with platforms, a parachute, or a helicopter to make my jumps.
When completing a level and getting all the particles in an area, it felt rather rewarding. Even when I didn’t get anything for my troubles, just seeing that counter read “0” really satisfied my completion itch that needed scratching.
The presentation is where Schrodinger’s Cat really shines. The voice acting is very well done and quite humorous in some spots. Granted, a lot of the science lingo went over my head, but the writers were able to keep it technical without sacrificing a few good laughs here and there. The art style is simplistic, but is very colorful and fits right with the overall tone of the game.
Schrodinger’s Cat is a clever little game. While the platforming can be spotty at times, and trial and error can become a bit frustrating, in the end, I actually had a fun time with it. The simple “clear this area of all enemies” and presenting them in a simple way had me keep going. All I had to do was figure out a way to actually reach them, and that was part of the fun. For ten bucks, this a decent platformer that I think people will enjoy if they like the trial and error kinds of game that require a little bit of thought.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.