If you aren’t familiar with Atari’s Quantum, no one will blame you; it certainly isn’t a very well known classic from the early Atari era. If you’re like me, you probably first came across Quantum in the Atari 50th Collection which came out last year. That said, Atari has chosen Quantum to be its next Recharged series game. While the Recharged series has been a bit of a mixed bag, Quantum Recharged is a fun time that, sadly, doesn’t last super long. It’s likely you’d need to be a massive old school Atari fan to be pulled into Quantum Recharged. 

Quantum Recharged is a very simple game. You control a small… thing (it’s unclear if you’re supposed to be a ship or something else entirely). Your goal is to create “dead zones” on the playing field to eliminate the enemy, which also happens to be…some other shape. You do this by drawing a loop around the enemy and enclosing it. The original Quantum required you to enclose an enemy in your loop, but for Quantum Recharged, dead zones stay on screen for a little bit and anything that crosses into one of the loops is eliminated. This means you don’t have to enclose an enemy; simply guess where you think the enemy will go and drop a trap. However, the challenge with this strategy is that you have to be super mindful of your own surroundings. Anything that didn’t come out of your ship/shape/thing kills you.

The simplicity of Quantum Recharged is equally its best and worst aspect. It’s easy to understand what you need to do to play a round of Quantum and ultimately understand why you died. The problem with this is that the game never changes anything up. Thus, after about 5 minutes or so, you’ve experienced the whole game. Quantum Recharged adds a new game mode intended to add more depth to the game, but outside of that, the point is ultimately to get higher up the leaderboard. 

Like most of the Recharged series, the developers opted to add a Mission Mode to Quantum. Mission Mode is, as the name would imply, a game mode where you are assigned missions to complete during your playthrough. The idea is that these missions change up and give you something new or different to try to achieve. The problem with this mode in Quantum Recharged is that the game itself has one objective: eliminate the enemy without dying. This means that the Mission Mode is “Eliminate All Enemies” and…that’s it. The missions don’t change up beyond this, which makes mission mode kind of pointless. 

In the end, Quantum Recharged is likely going to appeal only to the Atari faithful or die-hard retro game players. While it’s a very simple game to learn and play, there just isn’t that much in it to keep you invested for any long amount of time (unless you want to climb the leaderboards). It’s great for a five minute burst, which fits well on Nintendo Switch. Yet, like a lot of the Recharged series, the new additions of things like “Mission Mode” highlight how there isn’t much you can add to these older games. It’s a fun experience that will likely have a limited appeal.