SCHRÖDINGER'S CAT AND THE RAIDERS OF THE LOST QUARK
By Ferry "Sadhonker" Adams on May 13, 2015
My first encounter with Schrödinger's cat was the game's trailer and this next piece of text: "Ah, the Particle Zoo! It’s an interdimensional subatomic holiday destination where patrons young and old can observe anthropomorphised elementary particles of the Standard Model roaming free in their natural environments. It’s a good day out for the whole family, if you family happens to be very, very tiny."
Now, as you can imagine, it made me wonder what the hell the people at Italic Pig and Team 17 were talking about. Were they drunk... or even high? So when a copy of the game arrived, I was determined to find out for myself. After playing through the game for a few hours, I arrived at the conclusion that they were neither drunk or high, but really quite the opposite: they are rather brilliant!
In Schrödinger's Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quarks, you play as Schrödinger's cat, so no surprises there. You are called upon when things at the Particle Zoo get out of hand and a number of particles escape their enclosure and start roaming the zoo. Now, the Zoo management won't stand for this, but being true managers, naturally it can't be expected of them to actually DO stuff. And that's where you come in; Schrödinger's cat to the rescue!
After you arrive at the Particle Zoo, the situation is explained to you by the (mostly not very bright) Zoo Security staff. As you make your way into the zoo, you encounter little colored bits of matter, called Quarks. Although they don't look like much, don't be fooled by their size. One Quark by itself may not be able to do anything worthwhile, but combine them into groups of three and the results might just blow you away... or blow escaped particles away, at any rate.
There are four basic types of Quarks scattered around the Zoo:
The yellow Up Quark
When combined in a group of three, these little guys forms a helicopter type of particle that lifts you up to reach those formerly unreachable places.
The purple Down Quark
When three of these little fellows are combined, they form a dril that makes holes in the ground you stand on.
The green Top Quark
This is you protective Quark. Combine three of these to form a lean green protecting machine.
The Red Bottom Quarks
Now, these red guys are the builders of your Quark army. Combine three of them to build platforms that (albeit temporarily) enable you to jump on them and reach higher than ever before.
Next to these four types of common Quarks, there's also the orange Charm Quark. This type of quark is very rare and well-hidden throughout the entire Zoo. Finally, there are rumors about a sixth Quark: the Strange Quark. Apparently, all information about this quark is distributed on a need-to-know basis, and guess what? You don't need to know!
You may have noticed that I really like this game a lot. Mostly because I've been rambling on about it for the last six or so paragraphs without even giving you the slightest indication of what type of game we're dealing with here! I would like to offer you all my sincerest apologies for my verbal diarrhea. I just couldn't help myself, I'm just so excited about this game! So, now it's time to get down to brass tacks. What is Schrödinger's Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quark, actually? Well, according to the developers it's a action-adventure-puzzle-platformer, and I for one, completely agree with this statement! Let me break it down for you:
You will have to take care of all the escaped particles throughout the zoo, mostly by kicking them violently in the head or blowing them up with a Quark-missile, before transporting them back to their enclosures in a Quark-net.
Of course it's an adventure. I mean, have any of you ever been to the Particle Zoo?! I rest my case.
Find your way through labyrinthine levels and figure out how to gather enough quarks (and how to combine them) to capture those nasty escaped particles.
It has platforms... enough said!
Now, as you may remember, we've talked about the different types of Quarks and the possibility to combine three of them to do awesome things. But why stop there? Why not combine different types of Quarks and see what happens? This turns out to be the single most enjoyable and awesome feature of the game (next to the conversations you'll have with various characters around the zoo...) You'll have to just try it out for yourself and see what contraptions you come up with. The fun thing about making these combinations (apart from the results), is the way every type of quark is bound to one specific key. I played this game on the PS4 and the Quarks were combined by using the four shoulder buttons of the PS4 controller. When you first start playing the game, you might need to think about which button to press, but after a while these commands just fly out of your fingers without even thinking about them.
So after all is said and done, there's only one thing I'd like to say to you: Go online and buy yourself a copy of this magnificent game! Schrödinger's Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quark is certainly worth your time and your money. It's an excellent game that uses a fresh approach to the whole platform genre. Witty characters, cool physics jokes and one hell of a challenge. So venture forth, young gamer... May the Quark be with you!