Alive? Dead? Who knows. Who cares? What we do know however is that Italic Pig and Team 17 have teamed up to bring new life to Schrödinger’s Cat. A life that consists of solving crime!
Yep, you may know of Schrödinger’s Cat as the ultimate quantum superposition, but everything you know should be tossed to one side and replaced with a new way of thinking. A way of thinking that is humorous, colourful and, for the most part, rather joyful to play.
The Particle Zoo has had a catastrophe of immense proportions; the enclosures have opened and the primitive particles have been able to escape. The usually glorious environment has been hit by utter chaos and the Zoo has been put on complete lockdown. This is where Schrödinger’s Cat comes into play, having been drafted in to sort everything out.
And our little purple cat does so with aplomb. From the very first minute you set eyes on him, you’ll fall in love with his wise-cracking dialogue and not-a-care-in-the-world sense of adventure. You may struggle to get your head around his slightly dodgy movement or indeed the jolty camera that follows him on his adventures (seriously, what is up with that camera), but what he lacks in finesse and precision, he more than makes up for with ‘getting the job done’. Making his way across delicate platforms may seem easy enough for a cat, but he can jump only so far, and crawl up only the safest of walls. The rest of the puzzle laden zoo that Schrödinger’s Cat finds himself in is pretty much off limits.
Until that is, he discovers that the ever helpful quarks are on his side and happy to help him out.
Coming in four varieties, the quarks are by far the standout addition to Schrödinger’s Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quark. The cat himself may believe he’s the star, but without the Tops, Bottoms, Ups and Downs, he is nothing. To witness them in action, you’ll need to get three of them to work together; for you and your zoo cleanup mission. A hit of the bumpers or triggers blasts each type of quark into action and any combination of three of our colourful little friends can be used to devastating effect. Need to reach a ledge? Summon three Tops to fly you there. Need to drill down through the ground? Three Bottoms will easily help you out.
But it’s when using a combination of the quarks that things start to get real interesting as traps can be laid, trampolines created and decoys sent on their merry way. With 14 different combinations all ready to be used, the complete and utter selling point is one of the best new ideas I’ve seen in a game for a long time. In a strange way, it’s a bit like sending your coloured minions out on a battle in Overlord; just this time on a much much smaller, happier scale!
And all these things will help Schrödinger’s Cat out as he attempts to clear the Zoo of the bad guys; the Gluons, the Leptons and the Bosons. Punching and kicking your way past the Gluons is easy enough, but you’ll need to be on your guard as attacks come from all corners. Your army of quarks can quickly become depleted if you decide to go head-to-head with some of the zoos lesser helpful rogue-particle occupants without bothering to cover your back. And if you lose your quarks (or just don’t use them with a clear mind), then you’ll struggle to do much other than run around in circles, covering old ground and old areas in an attempt to build up your base of friends once again.
Whilst the puzzling nature of Schrödinger’s Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quark is of a fairly high standard, it’s strangely far too easy to find yourself dropping back into areas which you’ve previously frequented. The overview on offer is utter rubbish and consists of a quick press of the Y button to show a slightly more expanded view from what you normally see. It’s an utter waste of time if I’m being completely honest and without the ability to scan the areas fully, you’ll need to be fully aware of where you are going and what you are planning on doing at all times.
Even then, the precision that Schrödinger’s Cat holds lets things down, with seemingly easy to enter areas becoming nigh on impossible to hit unless you manage to get the cat to clamber to the precise spot. For those reasons, the platforming side of the game is pretty frustrating and puts a bit of a spoiler on the title as a whole.
Thankfully though, getting stuck isn’t the end of the world as a quick press of the right stick will ensure that your cat moves between life and death with ease, dropping back to some of the helpfully placed checkpoints in a flash. You may lose your cuddly little friends in doing so, but at least you’ll be able to take on a certain section once again…this time with a clearer head and a well worked out plan.
Putting a couple of niggly little issues to the side though and Schrödinger’s Cat is a fairly decent playthrough. You’ll get enough hours of game time to more than warrant the cheap price tag that is on offer and putting that in with the glorious humour that is thrust your way throughout, you really should be checking out Team 17’s latest venture. The guys are well known for delivering top class products and whilst this isn’t in the same league as their recent big titles, Flockers and LA Cops, you’d do much worse than check it out.
Is Schrödinger’s Cat dead or alive? Well, on this form we’d fully expect him to spring into life as soon as that box is opened!