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Review: Schrödinger’s Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quark

[revgfw]http://cdn.xlcgamingnetwork.com/news/images/2014/09/24/SC-ReviewScreen/sclogo.jpg[/revgfw][font=Comic Sans MS][size=125][quote][b]Ever since Team17 started their Indie Partnership Program they have been picking up the crème de la crème of indie games. In fact the ones they have picked so far seem to be titles that you could imagine Team17 developing. With Team17 having quite a few animal mascots in their games already (Worms, Frogs and Sheep), it is only fitting that they pick up an indie game featuring a wisecracking purple feline. With the unusually long name of Schrödinger’s Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quark, Italic Pig’s title is a whacky 2D platformer centred on a unique quantum physics world.[/b][/quote][/size][/font][hr][/hr]

In Schrödinger’s Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quark you take control of a purple furry feline called Schrödinger’s Cat. For those that do not know who Schrödinger’s Cat is it is actually a thought experiment to do with quantum mechanics. In fact the game makes great use of this as because of The Copenhagen interpretation you do not actually die as such in the game. Instead you just restart from the last checkpoint which will be very much appreciated – Enough of the physics lesson. Schrödinger’s Cat (S.C for short) has been called in to help the Partical Zoo clean up the mess from a catastrophic event that has caused all the enclosures to open and let the primitive particles escape. These are al the cutesy Particle monsters that you pretty much want to pick up and cuddle rather than put back in the enclosures.

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The games scripting is some of the best you will find in gaming, with plenty of humour and personality in bucket loads. It is in the scripting I like to think of this game as a platformer with elements of point ‘n’ click adventures. Conversations branch off and consist of plenty of wacky quantum physics humour. OK so some of the jokes you may not understand if physics class wasn’t/is your strong point – yeah I slept all through those classes as well. This won’t stop you having plenty of fun with the purple hero though. It’s great that the conversations branch off helping towards re-playability. If you are a conversation skipper the game also makes fun of this and will make conversations last longer than normal (a nice little sadistic humour). The games voiceovers are also magnificently done projecting the comedy even further and helps give everyone a personality.

At the heart of the gameplay this is your basic 2D Platformer with the usual run, jump and hitting things just because they are there. However Italic Pig have put enough of their own twists, turns and physics formula’s to make this a much more enjoyable platformer than most. The cat is what you will use for your running, jumping and hitting, but where things get interesting is the use of Quarks. These little critters, apart from being just so damn cute, are the key in solving the games puzzles. You have your basic uses of Quarks that are colour coded for easy reference. Yellow Quarks will lift you upwards, blue Quarks will break through platforms, Red Quarks form a platform and green Quarks will protect you with a green bubble. There are two other Quarks as well but I will leave it to the game for you to find out about them.

While up until now this may seem like child’s play, it is not until you start making combos with the Quarks that the real fun and games begin. By using various Quark combos you can create missiles, moving platforms and even a trampoline style platform to name a few. All in all there are fourteen combos to learn. Your dexterity is really tested when you have to do more than one combo one after the other to navigate. There will be a few times that your brain will wish it got swallowed up by a black hole, but who said physics was easy.

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In the controls department the weapon of choice is the keyboard with the option to also use a control pad. It certainly won’t be a cat and mouse game (poor pun intended) as you are instructed to through the mouse away. It is the controls where my only real gripe is as I think they could be tweaked to work a lot better than they do. I preferred to use the keyboard as you can’t use the right stick for your Quarks making things a little confusing by mapping them to buttons on the controller. Navigating levels for the most part is easy enough but jumping while moving is twitchier than it needs to be especially when switching sides. This ultimately caused a fare few falls from platforms, but thankfully it isn’t game destroying.

Schrödinger’s Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quark really comes into it’s own with the level designs spread out over seven environments. At first levels can look pretty much random in design but look closer and you will see some designed in the form of quantum physic formulas. But wait there is even more as each of the levels is randomly generated every time you play the game. Not only does the path change but the puzzles and challenges also change, keeping re-playability fresher than many platformers. Levels are set out so that it has a great mixture of exploration and problem solving that allows you to get creative and think outside the box.

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Graphically this game is full of vibrant colour with the environments standing out and leaving a lasting impression. The use of colour spectrum not only looks fantastic but it also brings the levels to life. Each of the colours used for all the characters just seem perfect and help their personalities stand out more than usual. The seven environments on offer also feel quite unique thanks to the artwork and the level randomizer.

[b][font=Comic Sans MS][size=125]The Good Things[/size][/font][/b]

  • Challenging yet rewarding 2D Platformer.
  • Levels are randomly generated keeping re-playability fresh.
  • Great scripting with top notch comedy value.
  • Graphics look stunning.

[b][font=Comic Sans MS][size=125]And The Bad[/size][/font][/b]

  • Controls could do with a little tweaking.
  • Can’t bind the right stick of a controller to Quark commands.

[b][font=Comic Sans MS][size=125]My Verdict…[/size][/font][/b]
Schrödinger’s Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quark is one of the funniest platformers I have played to date. The scripting throughout the game is constantly funny and the wise cracking cat makes for a great protagonist. Each of the characters personalities leaves a lasting impression on you. You’re logical and dexterity skills will be pushed to the max with challenging puzzles, but they are rewarding and push you to be creative and think outside the box. The random level generator keeps the games re-playability fresh changing not only the level layout, but the games puzzles and challenges too. Italic Pig makes great use of colour helping bring the environments and characters to life. I love the ways levels are designed forming quantum physics formulas as well as iconic figures. If you are a fan of platformers then I highly recommend picking up Schrödinger’s Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quark.

[quote][b][font=Comic Sans MS][size=150]One of the funniest 2D platformers of 2014, complete with a wisecracking purple feline.[/size][/font][/b][/quote]
[star9][/star9]

About no1phil

no1phil
PR Manager & Editor for XLC Gaming Network. I have been gaming since the ZX Spectrum days growing up through many generations of consoles. A bit of a jack of all trades when it comes to gaming genres. When I'm not either being shot at, dancing, scoring for the other team or racing I am trying to become a guitar God with Rocksmith 2014.