A video game reviewer has been locked tight into his bedroom with several cans of energy drinks and been told to review a game named: ‘Schrödinger’s cat and the raiders of the lost snark’, with no time limit. Has he stopped writing? Or has the overabundance of drinks fuelled his furious fingers? At this point: I would be in fact writing AND not writing at the same time until you open the door and find I’m actually slumped out in the corner of the room in a sugary coma, gargling silly words.
This lacklustre mock introduction of the famous Schrödinger’s cat thought experiment is quite reflective of the actual game – laughable and confusing on the brain. Just who exactly is Schrödinger’s cat? Well, in this game specifically, he seems to be a mascot that’s jumped straight out of the 90s failed game mascot graveyard into his own digital title. Remember Bubsy or James Pond? You do? Maybe you’ll like this game, but for the rest of us, perhaps stay well clear.
This game is a 2D puzzle side scrolling game which uses a slightly unique mechanic of collecting such creatures named quarks that can be mixed and matched to help the cat traverse this very bland and almost vomit inducing world. Honestly, for a game made in 2015 and been placed on a next generation system, you would think at least some effort would be put into the main chunk of the game: the platforming. Yet jumping and moving the cat around feels greasy and the camera only brings an awkward presence when getting to those higher points.
I’m all up for new ideas in a platforming games, I really am. Since the birth of Mario; Sonic the Hedgehog, up until Dust: an Elysian tale; Super Meat Boy (to mention the absolute least), 2D side scrolling games have evolved despite their simple premise of turn left, turn right. S-Dinger’s cat brings the quark mixing mechanic (mentioned above) and I cannot say it’s enough to put this game into the foreground of interest.
So quarks are the multi-coloured particles that are assigned to your trigger buttons that can be combined when collected, to allow the cat to shoot missiles, create platforms to jump on and cast out nets to eliminate obstacles. Only a certain number of quarks are peppered around a stage and you must use your brain to distribute these evenly, depending on your obstacle. There’s a healthy amount of puzzles to solve but it’s honestly boring, tedious, and disappointing with no real context or character.
Video games not only need interesting game mechanic and also character, to not only give the gamer something / someone to believe in and play for, but to always feel like your time is well spent within that world: from humorous characters, to expanding story arcs, gaming has become so much more than just visions on the TV, but more an art form. Apart from the science jokes and puns that fall flat on the ears (yes, the word ‘Sciencerrific’ is used a lot), there is nothing that grabs at your interest about the protagonist or the quarks themselves.
Speaking of falling flat on the ears, the noise of the quarks is almost unbearable. I get that the little particles of lunacy are supposed to be wacky and crazy, but you can do this with action alone. Imagine giving your drunken mate extra booze, copious amounts of helium and a concoction of Brussel sprouts and beans, and then tell him to take the microphone to the bathroom. Add that with a soundtrack that is barely existent or loops the same bass line ever minute and you might just be able to imagine what I played through. I didn’t get sad through this game – I got angry.
Traversing on the same coloured platforms and laboriously mixing my quarks, I began to wonder who this game was aimed at. Was it for children? Maybe, but then again the physics puns, if you could call them that, wouldn’t make sense to a young child. Is it for those into puzzle-platformers? Maybe, but it’s nothing new to the puzzle veterans. Cats? Yes, maybe this game was made for cats – to stare at blankly whilst nothing interesting happens. I may sound rather harsh, but one has to pay money for something that would better suit a tablet / mobile device for less than 99p. Granted, this game isn’t too expensive on the digital stores, but I would perhaps wait until this inevitably comes out free on PS+ or Xbox Games for Gold.
The idea of the quarks is somewhat mildly interesting but when the overall game doesn’t look all that appealing – what’s the point? I mean, you’re supposed to be adventuring through a Zoo at points, yet the backdrop looks like a toilet. Maybe this was the intended art style and that’s fine, but Schrodinger’s cat and the raiders of the lost quark isn’t something I’ll play with friends or alone. Maybe puzzle fans may enjoy this, but with little replay value and nothing overly unique about it, I cannot say that this game is worth picking up, unless you have spare cash in your wallet and want an hour’s worth (at best) of puzzle solving. Curiosity kills the cat on this one. (Another cat pun- eyes roll).