Schrödinger’s Cat: Raiders Of The Lost Quark is a brand new atomic action-adventure puzzle platformer that combines kick-ass combat with all the chaos that comes with subatomic physics and quantum doodads to create something unique and wonderful. Sound confusing? Let’s break it down.
Most nerdy folk will be aware of the Schrödinger’s Cat thought experiment that involves a box, a radioactive atom, a radiation monitor and a cat that may be alive, dead or simultaneously both (but definitely pretty pissed off at having been crammed in a box). This is where Schrödinger’s Cat: Raiders Of The Lost Quark, a game that unsurprisingly takes the form of several gaming genres, begins.
“I frickin’ frackin’ love physics,” said Kevin Beimers, creator of the awesome point and click adventure game Hector: Badge Of Carnage and Italic Pig’s Director, “and I know I’m not the only one out there who does. There are so many cerebrally awesome concepts in physics that, unfortunately, are usually presented as either bafflingly complex or dreadfully dull. With Raiders of the Lost Quark I set out to make an exciting adventure at a subatomic scale that will inspire scientists and non-scientists alike, and a hero that physics lovers like me can rally behind.”
However, Schrödinger’s Cat: Raiders Of The Lost Quark isn’t a game just for those with a passion for particles, and all sciency stuff aside, it’s shaping up to be something truly unique. Set in The Particle Zoo, Schrödinger’s Cat (voiced by the talented A.J Locascio of BTTF: The Game fame) is called to deal with a catastrophic event that has caused primitive particles to escape and is tasked with bringing order once again with the assistance of the Quarks. Much like how you don’t need to be a surgeon to enjoy Surgeon Simulator, you don’t need to be physicist to enjoy this.
By collecting and commanding an army of Quarks, Schrödinger’s Cat can combine and create useful bits of temporary matter such as platforms, copters, bubbles, grenades and more to combat the “quarkivorous leptons, kleptomaniacal gluons, cantankerous bosons” and other particle-based thingummybobs that are wreaking havoc across the Particle Zoo – including the evil Antiquarks!
There are six different Quarks to be found and utilised throughout the game, each with their own unique abilities and properties; Ups, Downs, Tops, Bottoms, Charms and “the Strange Quark”. Players will have to combine sets of three Quarks to create useful items in order to progress through the game; for example three Ups will make a copter, three Downs will make a drill, and combinations of the six will create other unique items, such as ladders and missiles.
Like all good things to do with particle physics, Schrödinger’s Cat: Raiders Of The Lost Quark has a strong random element to it. Rather than a typical linear approach that’s common in many platformers, Raiders Of The Lost Quark features a sandbox style that takes place between two main areas of the Particle Zoo; the Promenade and the three Enclosures, which each contain a series of randomly assembled puzzle environments for players to tackle. This makes Schrödinger’s Cat: Raiders Of The Lost Quark a fully replayable experience; a unique take on a platformer title and not to be fully unexpected from a game about particle paradoxes.
With portions of the gaming community voicing their frustrations at the same old cookie cutter titles being released, and with the ever-increasing rise in popularity of indie titles, it’s a fantastic time for Schrödinger’s Cat: Raiders Of The Lost Quark to break out of the box. With the praise of games like Braid which also tweaked the puzzle and platformer genres, Raiders Of The Lost Quark has a lot of potential to position itself with some well-deserved mainstream success.
Raiders Of The Lost Quark is merely the first instalment of the Schrödinger’s Cat series of adventures and hopefully the success of Raiders Of The Lost Quark, which primarily deals with building, breaking down, sticking, and transmutation will lead to the already planned sequels. Schrödinger’s Cat And The Irresistible Force will deal with gravity manipulation and the follow-up Schrödinger’s Cat And The Tentacles Of Time will have players tinkering with time. Hopefully with Italic Pig’s recent partnership with the tremendous Team 17, we’ll be spending a lot of time pratting about in the Particle Zoo.
Schrödinger’s Cat: Raiders Of The Lost Quark is scheduled for release Q3 2014 on Steam