Quantum Spectre Game Poster Image

Quantum Spectre

Let lasers guide the way in researcher-created puzzler.

What parents need to know

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

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. 

Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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. 

User reviews

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

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!)  

Families can talk 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". 

Game details

Platforms:Mac, Windows
Subjects:Science: physics
Skills:Thinking & Reasoning: problem solving, solving puzzles
Pricing structure:Free
Available online?Available online
Developer:EdGE @ TERC
Release date:January 1, 2012
Topics:Science and nature
ESRB rating:NR

This review of Quantum Spectre was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Great handpicked alternatives

  • Angry Birds App Poster Image
    Popular knock-down-blocks app pits birds against pigs.
  • Cut the Rope App Poster Image
    Fun physics-based puzzler with adorable mascot.
  • Where's My Water? App Poster Image
    Puzzler's plot, unique gameplay will captivate young or old.
  • Amazing Alex App Poster Image
    Angry Birds maker follows up with clever brainteaser.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.