Preview: Schrödinger’s Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quark
neutrino neutron walks in to a bar to order a drink. The barman hands it the drink and says “For you sir, no charge”.
I’ll get my coat…
Back in my high school days, there was a textbook in the Science department titled Physics is Fun. Most, midway through the joys of adolescence, guffawed at the existence of such a tome. Yet, if this upcoming game by Italic Pig is something to go by, then physics can most certainly be fun and enjoyable.
Schrödinger’s Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quark is a colourful 2D platformer game that’s currently being developed for the PC via Steam. You are Schrödinger’s Cat, a realisation of the thought experiment on quantum mechanics by
Henry Erwin Schrödinger (the trailer above briefly explains the theory). Schrödinger’s Cat has therefore been called in to round up escaped particles that have fled from the Particle Zoo after a catastrophic accident.
It’s not all running and jumping to save the day though, for Schrödinger’s Cat can collect cute wee Quarks that can bestow special powers when mixed with other Quarks to help traverse previously impassable obstacles. There are six kinds of Quarks that can be collected, with the common ones being Up, Down, Top and Bottom Quarks. Here’s some examples of what you can do with certain combinations:
Mixing three Up Quarks creates a copter that can lift Schrödinger’s Cat up higher than he can jump. Three Down Quarks however can dig down a chunk of the terrain to drop down into the area below. With three Top Quarks you can create a shield to pass through goo that doesn’t blend nicely with our cat’s fur, whilst three Bottom Quarks can create a temporary platform to jump on to.
The beauty with these Quarks though are that they can be combined to create all manners of ‘Quarktails’ (Royalties enquiries to my Editor please). Two Ups and a Bottom can create a mobile platform, whilst Two Ups and a Down bestows a missile. There’s quite the array of combinations out there with the four Quarks, something the game took a great pride in highlighting during one loading screen.
The game is very much about exploring the Particle Zoo and rounding up any wayward particle you might find. After a few tutorial levels, the Zoo opens up further and you’re more free to choose a direction to explore. Along the way though, employees of the Particle Zoo will impart moments of wisdom, and providing the game’s method of storytelling.
The particles can all talk too, and Schrödinger’s Cat is himself voiced by the same actor that voice Marty McFly in TellTale’s Back To The Future series of games, A.J. Locascio. The wee Quarks even have cute voices to them too, adding to a feel-good aura around the game that looks set to make many smile, even if some of the jokes fly past them.
Yes, the vast majority of the jokes that the game hurls out are steeped in the world of science. However, Italic Pig are quick to point out that it shouldn’t put you off having a look at the game:
“At its core, Raiders of the Lost Quark is a cheerful, colourful and quirky adventure game that anyone can enjoy, from noobs to Nobel prize winners, with no pre-requisite reading required… honest. If it inspires you to spend some time on Wikipedia afterward, that’s your business.”
When Schrödinger’s Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quark comes out later this year, it will join the ranks of puzzle-platformers that have proliferated in recent years. Yet, with its ‘quark-tactic’ humour and the uniqueness offered by the wee Quarks, there’s plenty here to make this stand out among the rest.
Keep an eye out soon on GGS, as Italic Pig are one of the developers that we’ll be chatting with during the EGX expo in London on 25-28 September. If you’re attending the expo, the game will be available to try out in the Team 17 area in the Rezzed section.
An early build of the game was supplied by Team 17 for the purposes of creating this preview