Sawbuck Gamer is our daily review of a free or cheap ($10 or less) game.
Sometime in the distant or perhaps not-quite-distant future, the galaxy world of mankind is being threatened by an undeniably evil evilness. As Earth-manity’s only hope, it is up to you to infiltrate the enemy’s HQ-station and retrieve the MacGuffin 6000. Also, turrets. Lots of turrets.
Okay, so Quantum Patrol’s hoary backstory, nonsensical title, and generic sci-fi trappings aren’t that exciting. The enemies aren’t particularly distinct, and the puzzles are all “put this block on this button to open this door” fare. Despite all that, there’s a slick little action game hiding beneath the tropes. The mouse aims and shoots while you direct movement and choose weapons from the keyboard. Aside from a few tricky grappling-hook sections, the two-handed control scheme is easy enough to manage even for folks like me who aren’t terribly coordinated. The physical space is nondescript, but it’s built in a way that requires some strategy and memorization. Go charging in (or rather, rolling in) with guns blazing, and you’ll find yourself quickly overwhelmed, but the levels are short enough and the save points frequent enough that progress is never a chore. There’s not a whole lot new about Quantum Patrol, but there’s still a lot to like. Dust off your robo-lasers, outer-space astro-bot, the Generic Federation Empire of World-Planets is counting on you.