The Quantum Feline
If the thought experiment of Schrodinger’s Cat breaks your mind, then I have an easier question for you… Why has no-one ever made a game about the quantum feline? Well, now someone has. Italic Pig decided it was time to bring Schrodinger’s Cat back from the dead (sort of) with his own puzzle-platforming adventure – Schrodinger’s Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quark.
It’s difficult to truly explain this game to someone who isn’t familiar with it, but I’ll do my best. Deep down in the quantum world, chaos breaks out at The Particle Zoo (that’d be a zoo that features one of every form of matter), and Schrodinger’s Cat is called in to help return order to the zoo and recapture some of the escaped particles. Playing as a sort of puzzle platformer, Schrodinger’s Cat uses a variety of quarks to navigate the world, as well as fight and capture rogue particles.
Navigation and combat is pretty straightforward, with just the basic run, jump and a claw attack available to Schrodinger’s Cat, but some much needed variation is provided by the use of quarks. You’ll pick these little guys up throughout levels and with 4 varieties available (Up Quarks, Down Quarks, Top Quarks and Bottom Quarks) they can be combined for a range of effects. One of the best concepts in the game, this both allows puzzles to be worked into the actual navigation of a level (requiring you find the right quarks and use them effectively to pass obstacles) and creates a twist that the majority of other platformers are lacking.
Within The Particle Zoo, there are 2 distinct types of zones. Enclosures are story-related areas that remain the same and limit your quark use. Once a quark is used, it’s gone until you die or reset back to a checkpoint. This forces players to consider the resources in the area and plan their abilities as needed. This is where Schrodinger’s Cat shines and is an engaging and complex puzzle platformer.
The other type of zone is The Promenade and this is where the game falls a bit short. You’ll pass through these zones as you’re moving back and forth between enclosures and to make the game more replayable, these areas are partially procedurally generated. This SHOULD make the zones all the more fun, but instead they just tend to turn up as bland areas that look very similar and don’t really take much effort to move through. By the time you reach the game’s climax, The Promenade seems less like an actual area of the game and more like a way to quickly fill space between the important parts.
Despite moments of repetition and a story that’s sort of ridiculous (including a run-in with the god particle himself, The Higgs Boson), Schrodinger’s Cat has enough good moments to balance things out, making for a good overall experience. It’s a bit short (clocking in at around five hours, with not a lot of replayability) but long enough to justify the price point. If you enjoy cheesy physics puns and classic side-scrolling platforming, then Schrodinger’s Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quark might just be up your alley.
Developer: Italic Pig
Publisher: Team17 Software
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One (Reviewed), PC
A review code was provided by the publisher.