Schrödinger’s Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quark is a rather odd game as far as the premise goes. It is an action platformer that is based loosely on a scientific exercise known as a thought experiment. Now I’m no physicist, aside from my science classes at high school and reruns of The Big Bang Theory, I don’t know much about physics. I have heard of Schrödinger’s Cat and in its most basic terms: if you place a cat, and something that could kill the cat in a box and sealed it, you wouldn’t know if the cat as alive or dead until you opened the box. This means that until the box was opened, the cat can be considered both “alive AND dead”. The point is: this is how scientific theory works. You don’t know if the theory will hold up until it is tested and proved. The theory behind this thought experiment isn’t that important in the gameplay, but it will help with some of the story and jokes.
Schrödinger’s Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quark is a great game, I really enjoyed my time playing as the wise-cracking, electron kicking super cat. The game begins with you, Schrödinger’s Cat, arriving at a particle zoo after a calamity has caused all kinds of chaos and havoc. The art design is great, it’s colourful and well animated throughout, I especially liked Schrödinger’s Cat’s spin (almost like Taz the Tasmanian Devil) as you change direction mid-jump. It’s a great looking game that takes the cartoon style artwork and really makes it its own.
In Schrödinger’s Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quark, you help the employees of the Zoo track down missing or rogue particles, but all is not as it seems. An hour or so into the game I was delighted by faint teasings of a mysterious villain and what is essentially a Weapon of Mass Destruction. The story is fantastically funny and whimsical and adds to the fun of the overall experience, it strips back the often over-complicated and ambitious goals of many action platformers and instead focuses on making its plot engaging, enthusiastic and, most importantly: fun.
Throughout each environment (there’s a total of seven) you will have to navigate through enemy particles that are out for no good as well as a whole bunch of terrain based puzzles, some of which had me scratching my head for a while. Schrödinger’s Cat isn’t alone in his struggles though, as I played through the short tutorial for the game I was introduced to wacky and chatty characters that provided some helpful hints.
The gameplay mechanic that separates Schrödinger’s Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quark from the myriad of other platforming games out there is the ability to collect and use Quarks. There are four types of Quarks that Schrödinger’s Cat will pick up throughout his time trying to save the Zoo. You have the UP Quark, DOWN Quark, TOP and BOTTOM Quarks. Each Quark has its own special abilities, the UP Quark makes things move, the DOWN Quark likes to destroy things while the TOPS can be used for protection and the BOTTOMS like to build things. On their own these options would be suitable enough to add plenty of depth into a side-scrolling action platform game but Schrödinger’s Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quark doesn’t stop there. Each Quark can be used in a combo with more of the same or different Quarks. To begin with it is fairly confusing and trying to remember what combo you need for a certain task, can be difficult while running and jumping around each level. I did get the hang of it as time went on but there were still several frustrating deaths because I summoned a moving platform instead of a protective bubble. It really does take some pretty concentrated coordination that some players might find intimidating.
Navigating the Zoo is only one of the hazards that you will face and there are plenty of enemy particles that you will need to fight your way through in order to save the day. The combat is simple in the extreme with the “X” button being the only real attack, certain Quark Combos can be used to damage enemies (something that comes in handy in the later sections of the game) but for most of the game I was punching and kicking my way through the levels. The hit detection can be off at times and trying to hit a Glutton if he is too close will be damn near impossible. This problem never ruined the game but it can be annoying as hell. There are some other problems with Schrödinger’s Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quark that prevented it being the best platforming game I have played in years. I noticed a few glitches in my time with the game, the most prominent problem I found related to one of three “special” levels. I say it is special because it is a timed chase level where you have to navigate through the environment while being chased by the edge of the screen, if you are too slow and the screen overtakes you, it’s game over. I found that at times Schrödinger’s Cat would get caught on the scenery. The problem usually reared its ugly head when it came time to run up a ramp, instead of following the path, Schrödinger’s Cat would just stop as if he had run into a wall. This was only a problem in the “Case” levels but it caused me enough hassle, and on such a regular basis, that I felt disappointed, Schrödinger’s Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quark had done such a good job up to this point of polishing everything, only for me to be let down by this.
The voice acting is brilliant, all of the voice acting was done by one man: A. J. Locascio, and he knocks it out of the park. The cocky and self-assured Schrödinger’s Cat is the perfect protagonist and the characters you meet throughout the game are great. The high quality of the audio pitches Schrödinger’s Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quark head and shoulders above its counterparts.
I had a fantastic time playing through the action sections of Schrödinger’s Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quark and the puzzle elements were challenging enough to keep the game interesting and engaging. It really is a great game and with high-quality voice acting and audio, excellent writing, a fun and quirky art design and (bar the odd glitch) fundamentally solid gameplay, Schrödinger’s Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quark should be on your “to buy” list.
Schrödinger’s Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quark is a fun, wacky and engaging action platformer that isn’t shy of throwing some complicated combo controls at you. Its puzzle sections are well thought out and the overall level and art design are great. I’ve rarely seen a platforming game that has audio that matches the quality of Schrödinger’s Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quark, something that I think should be lauded. There are some problems with the game like poor hit detection in certain situations and a persistent glitch caused me a great deal of frustration. Schrödinger’s Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quark has a funny and interesting story helping to finally prove that Schrödinger’s Cat, is very much alive.
- Graphics – 88/100
- Audio— 90/100
- Gameplay— 84/100
- Story— 81/100
- Value For Money—87/100
Overall – 82.6