A “Quarky” Game – ‘Schrodinger’s Cat’ Mini Review

Unlike the actual theory, the cat is very much alive in this tough platformer

Because of time constraints, I did not get a chance to beat Schrodinger’s Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quark to its conclusion. For that reason, I will give an abbreviated overview of the good and the bad in this unique title.

Gameplay

The gameplay featured in Schrodinger’s Cat is probably my favorite part of the entire game. Sure, like the amazing Rayman Legends, Schrodinger has the same basic jump and punch attacks, but where the game is alone is in it’s ‘Quarks.’ There are four different colors of Quarks you can collect in each level – red, blue, yellow and green. Once you have collected a fair amount of each, the game gets particularly interesting. You can now start using them in several different combos to create elemental effects that help you progress through the game. Need to climb higher? Use three yellow Quarks to create a small helicopter boost for a few seconds! Need to get through a wall? Use a blue, yellow, blue combo to blow the wall out of the way. There are what feels like more than a dozen combos that you can use to progress through the levels.

Quarks aren’t all you have on the levels, though! ‘Gluons’ will snatch Quarks from behind you if you’re not quick enough to punch them first. While it didn’t always feel necessary to kill the basic white Gluons in the beginning of the game,  I quickly discovered later in the game just how important it was to take them out before they steal from you.

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Early in the game, the use of the combos made many levels feel like you could beat the area and get to the exit point through several different routes. As I got further into Schrodinger, though, it seemed like the number of Quarks in the levels were drastically reduced forcing a sort of trial and error method to beat each area. While both level designs were enjoyable, the change of pace later in the game led to a huge difficulty spike. At one point, I spent probably a half hour trying to get to the next checkpoint. While rewarding to finally beat, the game did feel a little more frustrating than fun at times.

As far as gameplay goes, Schrodinger’s Cat is a tough platformer with enough unique spirit to make it refreshing to play.

Story and Humor

The story in Schrodinger’s is pretty enjoyable. From what I could understand, as Schrodinger’s Cat, you’re tasked with restoring order in the ‘Particle Zoo’ after a series of mishaps have sent the place into chaos. While a lot of it felt pretty alienating to someone who isn’t science oriented, the plot still felt approachable enough to find its characters entertaining.

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The game is all about making science jokes, so naturally you have to have a bit of a basic knowledge of particles and the make up of cells in order to pick up on exactly what’s happening. On top of that, the game is littered with smile-inducing corny science jokes. Many of the games jokes feel like lame puns, but that’s the way it’s intended to be. The game is written in an intelligent manner that often made me wish I was smart enough to pick up on all the jokes being made.

Although Schrodinger’s Cat is a small indie game, it had a lot more personality than many other AAA titles released in the past few years.

Verdict

Ultimately Schrodinger’s Cat is a well-crafted game that checks all the basic platformer boxes while adding enough new gameplay quirks (Quarks?) to make it worth playing. It might not be my favorite platformer I’ve played on Xbox One, but that doesn’t stop it from being unique, fun and well-worth its modest asking price.

Have you played Schrodinger’s Cat too? What did you think of Italic Pig’s Xbox One debut? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter!

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