Quantum Spectre

Game review by
Seann Dikkers, Common Sense Media
Quantum Spectre Game Poster Image
Let lasers guide the way in researcher-created puzzler.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational Value

Kids can learn that they can reflect, refract, split, combine, and generally use anything shiny to bounce light beams. They won't get vocabulary from the game, but they will understand the basics of light physics. In a sense, they'll also have experience manipulating beams that will be informative when they encounter the terms later. Playing with laser beams is naturally fun, and the game stays true to that experience, offering players the same joy that researchers get in the lab.  

Positive Messages

There's a very thin plot about saving a laboratory from creatures, but too little narrative to matter.

Positive Role Models & Representations

There aren't any characters.

Ease of Play

The game has clear instructions that cover the controls and goals. After mastering the basics, the game slowly introduces new types of tools and mechanics. Bouncing arrows intially tell the player what to click on, where to put objects, and how to win. 

Violence
Sex
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Quantum Spectre is designed to help players understand and play with optics and light. It has no objectionable content, and is designed by researchers for learning. The puzzles grow increasingly more confounding and different reflective widgets get added every few levels. Kids should get a solid feel for how light can be reflected, bent, split, and combined, and there's plently of play time and challenge and all for free. And while the game is fun, it's also helping researchers learn about learning and to make better educational games. 

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What's it about?

There are little wiggly things called spectres trapped in blue tanks. They're about to break free and cause havoc, and the player's job is to solve puzzles -- using lasers -- to contain them. These multi-colored laser beams must be redirected toward targets using mirrors and other reflective surfaces.

Is it any good?

QUANTUM SPECTRE is fun -- addicting even -- and might have kids dreaming about little light beams. It has good pacing that adds new twists every few levels to keep things fresh and challenging. Kids of the right age should find themselves in the sweet spot -- just a step away from being stumped for a good portion of the game. That being said, there isn't a hint guide, walkthrough, or help mode. If a kid gets stuck, he or she will be really stuck. Solutions might pop up on YouTube, but until then it's a bit frustrating. (So if you've got the solution for level 2.9 pass it along!)  

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Explore mirrors and focused light at home! Using a laser pointer and reflective surfaces (check the pots and pans for curved ones) you can set up a home version of a level from the game, or make a brand new one. 

  • Try to come up with a science fiction story that fits the game. How exactly does redirecting a laser beam help contain the dangerous spectres?  For younger kids, use Bobo Explores Light as inspiration.

  • If you like puzzle solving, check out our "Top Puzzle Apps for Kids". 

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For kids who love puzzles

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