The dead cat theory.

Cheesy, simplistic and weird are the first impressions one gets with Schrödinger’s Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quark. Amateurish and mildly funny voice acting will be your guides in this colourful physics inspired platformer. Prepare to be educated and strap on your helmets for this challenging particle hunting adventure.

Educationally Challenging

Having virtually no knowledge of physics, many of the jokes and witty remarks in Schrödinger’s Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quark passed me by. Despite this depressing fact, the game is still a joy to play in small doses. Schrödinger’s Cat can at times become quite frustratingly challenging and is more likely to move you to tears while you put up with quarktacular dialogue, than offer a pleasant platforming experience. It’s clear from the get-go that Schrödinger’s Cat wants to achieve a more intellectually stimulating adventure, instead of running and jumping around haphazardly to complete your goal; a bit of planning and pristine execution is needed to advance.

The main objective of the game is to learn physics and wallow in your own ineptitude as you fail seemingly simple tasks… OK, the real objective is to capture the loose particles of the particle zoo, which escaped during a commotion, the thieving gluons and gigantic bosons to name a few. Capturing all these critters can keep you occupied for a hefty amount of time – some are out of the way and divert the player’s attention. Schrödinger’s Cat is seemingly a batman (or catman) esque hero who has been summoned to fix the mess and stop the mad rule of the ‘strange’ particle, who has the capacity to turn to the world to a bubbling pustule of jelly… or something.

A Quark Here, A Quark There

Happy ‘up’ quarks, grumpy ‘down’ quarks, ‘top’ protective quarks and ‘bottom’ building quarks will hop along for the ride and spout cute lines while you mercilessly use them to your own ends. (Only joking, it’s not that cruel, but you do throw them against walls…) Combining these little critters known as quarks into useful combos to further your adventure is key in this witty platformer. Need a lift? Use some ‘up’ quarks. Need to destroy something? Use some ‘down’ quarks. Need to destroy something above you? Combine your flailing quarks and create a path. By far the most comical combination is the decoy combination; vicious leptons are forced to watch in awe and dance to the beat as you claw or sneak your way forwards.

Pesky gluons try to pillage your poor defenceless quarks, but fear not, you control a science trained cat that can fisticuffs those quarks right back. Unfortunately if a lepton takes your quark, then he’s a goner. Bosons are the opposite and mostly ignore you and your quarks unless you kick them… don’t kick them.

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The amusing scientific symbols that appear upon attacking an enemy, further enhance the goal Schrödinger’s Cat has in mind, and that’s cheesy physics fun.

Cognitive Overload

Despite confusing the player with quarktaffic remarks and symbols that look straight off the periodic table, the voice acting as mentioned before got on my nerves at times. Fortunately, there is an option to mute said voices but who wants to miss out on the coola boola fun (actual line)! The other cognitive confusion comes from the remarkably speedy camera, always eager to be in the right place. Although definitely helpful, it does induce nausea, vomiting, and premature tiredness… OK, maybe not vomiting but it definitely wears you out. An appeal of note is the smoothness of the game in the majority of areas and the comical yet somewhat realistic appearance of the hero. It also looks like developer Italic Pig has copied environments from Team 17’s early Worms games for the backgrounds, which isn’t exactly a bad thing.

Despite being easy to pick up and play, the puzzles can leave you staring at the screen for hours.

Despite being easy to pick up and play, the puzzles can leave you staring at the screen for hours while you plan your attack, or make you repeatedly smash your head against the wall while your try and subsequently fail to outrun an angry mob of bosons. Personally I fell into the trap of running around willy-nilly, popping quarks when convenient, and quickly ran straight into a wall when the little quarks became limited or when converted quarks started interrupting my combos and generally being a nuisance.

A review copy of Schrödinger’s Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quark was provided courtesy of Team 17. The game was reviewed on PlayStation 4.

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