Format tested: Xbox One
Available for: PC, PS4
Publisher: Italic Pig and Team 17 Digital Ltd
Developer: Team 17 Digital Ltd
Nine lives later he still isn’t dead.
Schrodinger’s Cat is a thought experiment sometimes described as a paradox. The scenario presents a cat, a flask of poison and a radioactive source all placed in a sealed box which may leave the Cat simultaneously both alive and dead. When one looks in the box, one sees the cat either alive or dead, not both alive and dead. This poses the question of when exactly quantum superposition ends and reality collapses into one possibility or the other.
The game, however, is a 2D platforming puzzler about a cat and a mysterious incident at a particle zoo.
Italic Pig has teamed up with Team 17 to bring this story to life, utter chaos has been unleashed and everyone’s running amok at the particle zoo, so they call in the code purple and release Scrodinger’s Cat on the situation.
Like a mix of Lemmings and Pikmin, Schrodinger’s Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quark brings a cool new mechanic to the foreground in the form of four adorable little fussy friends called Quarks. Now these little critters have some amazing abilities when teamed up with others, helping you solve all the puzzles this platformer can throw at you.
First we have the adorable yellow Quark named ‘UP’ the grumpy purple Quark named ‘DOWN’ the top hat wearing green Quark named ‘TOP’ and the cheeky red Quark named ‘BOTTOM’. Combining 3 of them together with a tap of the LB,LT,RB,RT forms new problem solving Quarks, 3 UP’s make a helicopter, 3 DOWN’s smash through the ground, 3 TOP’s form a shield around you and 3 BOTTOM’s create a platform.
Problems solved if you ask me.
Now the idea is you take these Quarks around with you amassing a gathering as you travel the different environments solving puzzles along the way and helping the hugely useless staff overcome certain scenarios.
All this leads to the mystery door at the central nucleus guarding the strange Quark, but now even this huge door is being guarded by the super evil Anti-Quarks.
Now all this is quite easy to get along with at first, mastering the combinations is hard, but rewarding after you learn them all, the game realise on quick problem solving and the ability to quickly key in the right combination for the problem, a really great mechanic that doesn’t get old at any point in the game.
What does get old though is the story, a lot of particle jokes and stuff my small brain doesn’t understand, making me feel stupid in the process, bar the big bang esc jokes though, I get along with it helping out a tongue called Sheldon and being gifted a piece of chest hair by the Higgs boson.
Truly epic stuff.
But then the game throws a curve ball in the mix, you enter zones that quarks are scared of, leaving them in the newly cleared safe zone, whilst Mr Cat ventures inside, he now has to solve problems with the small amount of quarks you pick up along the way relying on the right combination every time and deadly precision, as once their used their gone for good and you have to start again by killing the cat, for him to then appear alive again seconds later, I’m sure Schrodingers Cat experiment is relevant some how now.
A lot of trail and error occurs through these areas, pure frustration in later levels, specifically when moving Zosons in range of Wosons, giant round creatures that are attracted to each other, the mechanics of moving these cumbersome objects around isn’t the easiest task, even the game pushes them into areas they probably should be, very frustrating when you have to restart a check point and travel through again, many times this happened to me with them getting stuck in walls and disappearing off the map, this can be made even more traumatic when you accidentally press retry zone, losing all progress in the process.
My first temper tantrum.
The difficulty curve of this game jumps from too easy to frustratingly hard at the drop of a hat, My second temper tantrum came whilst running away from Tauon, a ludicrously over sized dog, you have to navigate an area a lot like Rayman: Origins hidden teeth levels with out messing up, remembering the combinations as you go along, using the next one seconds later. Your never ready for it and you never get used to them when they come at you head first a lot like the Boson stampede in the second event like this.
I do however love the fact I got 850 gamerscore in my brief 8-10 hour playthrough, taking me to 88500 gamerscore in total!
The Replay Ability of this game is one down fall, Once the short campaign is finished their really isn’t too much reason to go back, unless you clear every enemy out of every area for a swift 150 gamerscore, but this is easily done whilst going along if you pay attention to the map using a combination of UP, TOP and BOTTOM Quarks to net the enemy and carry them away in the process, don’t worry you don’t have to remember every combination though as once you try it for the first time its unlocked and left on your pause menu for reference which saved me plenty of times.
The graphics are a truly radical bright blast for your retinas with sharp HD shapes and truly wonderful looking creatures, the voice acting is also another delight, even though I didn’t care much for the finer details of the story the voice acting was superb and the useless particle zoo staff where a hilarious highlight for me and for $9.99/£6.99 its a perfect little treat.
I won’t ruin the story for you though, I’ll leave the true mystery for you to solve. But the main jist of the story is to solve problems and your extremely good at that, hence why your called in to save the day
Final thoughts, I want a purple cat now.
Can often be found walking round Novigrad, or piloting his sparrow across planets moons.