I’m not going to go into how much I enjoy playing indie games every so often or how I think indie games take more risks than ‘AAA’ titles when it comes to unique gameplay mechanics or thinking out of the box. Instead, I’ll focus on Team17’s newest title, Schrödinger’s Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quark, developed by Italic Pig. The game is a combination of different genres – part combat-platformer, part logic-puzzler, part open-world explorer, and part character-driven adventure.
Schrödinger’s Cat is set in a place called The Particle Zoo, a theme-park style environment which is thrown into chaos when all the primitive particles escape. The Zoo is put into lock down and Schrödinger’s Cat is called upon to clean things up and recapture the escaped particles. It’s a tough job, but he’ll have help from an army of cuddly quarks that can be combined to give Schrödinger’s Cat some amazing abilities. He’ll need them to complete the 30+ levels of chaos.
The game plays very much like your typical action-platform game at first. The main goal really is to get from point A to point B in each level but levels are laid out like environmental puzzles where you must solve how to get to the end. In order to do so, you’ll have to collect these things called quarks that can be combined to enhance your skill set. Combining same type quarks will allow you to do things like elevate to higher areas, create platforms, create shields, and break barriers. However, the real power of the quarks is revealed when you learn that you can combine different quarks to create even more power abilities.
For instance, some combinations can form a jet slid that can transport you across huge chasms or create a trampoline type mechanism that makes you jump higher. There are a bunch of combinations that it can be a bit difficult to keep track of what they all are. Luckily, most of the more useful combinations are easy to learn and memorize and there is actually a helpful chart in game that will tell you what each quark is good at. The main this is to just know what combination of quarks to use in what situations and to collect as many as you can so you can use them.
Also, it’s not just environmental puzzle solving. There’s also light combat involved where you’ll need to punch a few enemies here and there. Nothing too difficult and it does add a bit of excitement and danger to the mix.
While the gameplay in Schrödinger’s Cat is pretty good, the graphics aren’t too shabby either. The art style consists of both 2D and 3D elements and what appears to be quite a few hand drawn elements as well. It can be quite chaotic looking at times with much of it clashing with each other, but it kind of makes sense based on the environment the game takes place on. Character designs and animations are also well done in the game, though none of it is going to win a ‘best graphics’ award on the PS4.
Audio in the game however seems to be a step above the graphics in my opinion as the game features complete voice overs from voice actor, A.J. LoCascio. He does all the voice acting for all the characters in the game and you may recognize him as the voice of Marty McFly in Telltale’s Back to the Future game. There is actually quite a bit of dialogue in the game, though much of it are physics based jokes which many might not understand.
I will say, Schrödinger’s Cat isn’t going to be for everyone. I’ll even go further and say that the game will probably only appeal to a limited number of people. That’s not to say that game is terrible. In fact, it’s actually a pretty decent platform game with some unique features, thanks to the use of the quarks. As a platform game, it’s pretty enjoyable, though the level designs could use some work. Gameplay however is pretty solid.
Overall, Schrödinger’s Cat has potential. Again, it has some rather interesting ideas so if you’re into platform games that are a bit different, definitely check this out.
Review code provided to us by the publisher/developer.
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