What We’re Playing: Particulars

Was the big bang actually like this game? And if so, then who got the high score?

Particle physics and casual game play melded together? YOU’VE GOT MY ATTENTION. Particulars is a fun little game from Paul Sztajer (his first game) and is a great way to waste a few minutes. You take control of an up quark in the nanoseconds after the Big Bang, and your mission is to survive for as long as possible by avoiding your counterpart, the antimatter up quark. It’s a tough job, as the particles attract and repel each other and photons from matter/antimatter explosions can bounce you around. If that sounds ridiculous that’s because it kind of is, but you’ll still have fun playing it.

There are a lot of nice touches to this game that make it addictive and fun to replay. You can swap your particle for a down quark by ramming antimatter down quarks, and then can change back to an up later. The sound effect of an explosion is really enjoyable, and when you get many going per second it feels great, like matter/antimatter popcorn in a microwave. The doubling score every few seconds is exciting to watch as it gets up into the thousands and tens of thousands. Personally I love the tangential physics; now you know what quarks are! And that matter/antimatter explosions release energy, here in the form of photons! And that photons can bounce around particles even if they are massless. Then again, maybe I’m reading too much into this, and it’s just a fun, silly game.

My high score is 77K, can you beat it?