19th May2015

‘Schrodinger’s Cat & the Raiders of the Lost Quark’ Review (Xbox One)

by Phil Wheat

Schrodingers-Cat-screen

Cooked up by the team behind the point and click trilogy Hector: Badge of Carnage and featuring the voice talent of the brilliant A.J. LoCascio (known for his role as Marty McFly in Telltale Games’ Back to the Future), Schrödinger’s Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quark is set in The Particle Zoo, where a catastrophic event has caused all enclosures to open and all the primitive particles to escape! What used to be a cheery theme-park style environment is now utter chaos, and not in the mathematical sense of the word. The Zoo is put on lockdown, and the emergency services are called in to sort everything out. Those emergency services? Schrödinger’s Cat, of course! Thankfully he’s not alone; by collecting and commanding an army of cuddly quarks, Schrödinger’s Cat can combine and create a total of 14 unique abilities to solve any problems he may encounter.

There’s something to be said about the proliferation of indie gaming in the past two generations of consoles. taking their queue from Steam both Microsoft and Sony’s consoles have become homes to some of the premiere titles in this flourishing genre – of which Schrödinger’s Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quark is most-definitely one. Featuring 30+ levels of quirky, colourful, gameplay, this is is part combat-platformer, part logic-puzzler, part open-world explorer, part character-driven adventure…

It’s the melding of genres that really set this game apart from your standard modern platformers. Well that and the retro-esque look and feel to the game. Graphically the game is an odd mix of basic, almost 8-bit, backgrounds and some fantastic character designs… Speaking of retro, playing Schrödinger’s Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quark is like reliving the days of Cool Spot and Rayman all over again. It’s Rayman in particular that seems to have been the greatest “inspiration” for this title – the two share very similar aesthetics, from the level design to the crazy, often downright weird, conversations and character interactions you have and, of course, the quarks of this game are very much like the lums and teensies of Ubisoft’s Rayman franchise.

What raises Schrödinger’s Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quark above other platform games is not only the Lucasarts style script, filled with jokes of the science and mathematics variety, which could easily have been plucked from a Sam & Max title or even moreso Maniac Mansion; but also the puzzle elements – using the quarks in various combinations allows you to reach areas too high by flying or bouncing on a quark trampoline, or pass throguh blocked walls and floors using a combination of quarks as a “battering ram”. There are a myriad of quark combos within the game and whilst early-on in the game you can create combos at will, the secret to getting the most from this game is to just when and exactly how to use your quarks – after all, quarks don’t grow on trees (or in this case don’t respawn as often as they do in the early levels).

A fantastic platform-puzzler, Schrödinger’s Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quark is the very definition of a great indie game and marks a return to the kinds of hard-as-nails platformers of old (which is a VERY good thing in my book). Here’s hoping Schrödinger gets a sequel sometime soon!

Schrödinger’s Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quark is now available to download for PS4 via PlayStation Store for just £7.39 / $9.99 / 8,99 € and Xbox One via the Xbox Games Store for just £7.19 / $9.99 / 8,99 €. Schrödinger’s Cat is also currently available to download for PC/Mac/Linux via Steam.

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