The Game Quantum – iOS: Find risk and reward in this positively charming strategy title
Quantum is a two-player strategy game that uses elements of zone control and chain reaction. The object of the game is to eliminate all of the enemy nuclei from the board. Players take turns placing electrons on a game board, one by one. Careful placement of electrons will either create new nuclei on the board or add electrons to an existing nucleus. Each nucleus can only hold so many electrons depending on its position on the board. Once a nucleus reaches this critical number, the next electron added will cause the nucleus to erupt, sacrificing an electron and the nucleus, but also throwing excess electrons outward. As this eruption sends more electrons out to other nuclei, other eruptions might take place and so on and so forth. After the atomic dust clears, a single well-placed electron can turn the tide of the game. Quantum also includes an electron vacuum weapon referred to as “the Power of Duality” that is great for last second cleanup of an enemy force that just won’t stay down.
The game’s premise is a perfect match for the provided asynchronous turn structure through the iOS Game Center. Players can have up to six active games at one time and notifications are available to inform a player of an incoming challenge or pending move request. For players that find their gaming group in closer quarters, Quantum offers a great two-player hotseat variant for a small in-app purchase fee. The best part about playing in the hotseat mode is that winning or losing will not affect your online multiplayer amount of electrons or nuclei. (This also makes hotseat mode a great way to try out new strategies without fear of losing a winning streak, shields, or supplies)
Quantum has an interesting pay structure that feels like a mix between “Energy”-type in-app purchasing and skill based premium currency. Each of the player’s game pieces, Electrons, Nuclei, and Duality are finite. Each spent piece is gone from the player’s “lab” and will eventually need to be refilled. Refills can be purchased directly with cash, or earned through gameplay. A user can also exchange game pieces for others, up to a point: Electrons (the largest amount of supply) can be changed into Nuclei which can then be changed into Duality. Attempting to earn these pieces through normal gameplay can be time-consuming and sometimes risky, since in order to “come out ahead”, a player will ideally continuously win games. As an unusual but creative extra, players are also given a number of consumable “shields” that will prevent an online loss from ending a current winning streak.
Quantum has a very bright, clean aesthetic that does a great job displaying every important piece of data in contrasting colors and smooth motion. (Now would be a good time to mention the developer’s “comics” section of thegamequantum.com for those wanting to see more of the quirky tutorial character.) The in-game audio is simple and playful with beeps and pops where one would expect. The game also offers several jazzy music tracks to keep a player entertained as the electrons perform their dance of death and Duality.
After several online games and some time in Hotseat Mode to try out a few combos, I feel like I have gotten a good grasp on the game. I can’t wait to see new players in my game queue as this game launches on April 23, so be sure to grab a copy of Quantum and challenge me sometime!
Game Center ID: Zapster X
DOWNLOAD – The Game Quantum – FREE – iOS