Review – Quantum: Recharged

It was inevitable. Despite releasing some higher-rated bangers over the past few months, such as Mr. Run and Jump and one of the best retro collections of all time, Atari would inevitably go back and do a few more games in the Recharged series. It is their bread and butter, after all. Sadly, the vast majority of their classic arcade outings have already received the Recharged treatment in the past (Asteroids, Breakout, Yars, Centipede, Missile Command), so not only are we now dealing with the issues brought by market saturation, but also the fact those newer games are based on less famous IPs. Case and point, Quantum: Recharged.

Quantum: Recharged black holes

Back to bland vectors… but the black hole effects look dope.

Quantum is a really simple game. You control a ship, and you’re told to move around a small arena, using the special capabilities of your exhaust to create lines which stay on the arena for a while. If you create a solid shape with that line, you will create a small black hole which will attract all nearby enemies towards it, destroying them and giving you points. You also have an accelerate button and a dash button, but that is pretty much it: the premise of the game is taught to you, in its entirety, in about five seconds. You can play the entire game with one hand if you feel like doing so.

It’s easy to learn, somewhat hard to master (the amount of enemies thrown at you at any given moment is immense), but shallow as a puddle. Unlike other Recharged remakes, Quantum: Recharged is very basic. There are some extra modifiers you can tweak with, but you’ll see everything the game has to offer in the first fifteen minutes or so. An arcade experience with the same level of depth as a 1982 arcade game, which isn’t a bad thing by itself, but considering the streak of fantastic games released by Atari as of late, it is a bit disappointing. Atari 50 had brand new iterations of old Atari titles that were more interesting to play than this, all in one package, for instance.

As for the presentation, this feels like a setback compared to previous Recharged games. We are back to more vector-like visuals, with little creativity put into the design process. The visual effects put into the black (or blue, in this case) holes are trippy and cool to look at, but that’s all there is to it. Again, not bad, just basic. The same can be said about the sound design, which just follows the same pattern as pretty much any other Recharged game: really loud EDM beats.

Quantum: Recharged gameplay

The core gameplay revolves around looking for openings and opportunities to create these black holes. Fun, but shallow.

It’s not that Quantum: Recharged is bad, far from it. The thing is: it’s beyond basic. It feels like the Recharged games released a handful of years ago, back when they were basically vector-based remakes of old arcade games with little else to offer besides new visuals and an EDM soundtrack. This is still a somewhat entertaining game for a handful of minutes at a time, but after playing more interesting games by Atari in recent times, I’ve started to expect more from their outings. The best thing I can say about it is that it’s… fine.


Graphics: 6.0

We’re back to a more simplistic take on the visuals. The ship assets look dated and basic, but I did appreciate the visual effects whenever I created a black hole.

Gameplay: 7.5

You can play the entire game with one hand if you feel like doing so. Easy to learn, hard to master, but shallow as a puddle.

Sound: 6.5

Really loud EDM is a good fit for a sci-fi arcade game, but at this point, you’ve heard this soundtrack a bagillion times before.

Fun Factor: 6.5

It’s… fine. The gameplay is incredibly simple to learn, and it’s fun in really short bursts, but it’s really small in terms of content or lasting appeal.

Final Verdict: 6.5

Quantum: Recharged is available now on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, PC, Nintendo Switch, and Atari VCS.

Reviewed on PS5.

A copy of Quantum: Recharged was provided by the publisher.