Qix is a product of the Atari generation through and through, even though it didn’t exactly originate on those consoles. It has that special feel associated with games like Defender and Haunted House, addictive experiences that were actually pretty abstract and original in design. If this were remade into an Art Style game, everyone would be amazed and love the shit out of it.
But it was released in 1981, and games that look and sound as bad as Qix are kind of left behind by today’s gamers. Many a nerd looked at Qix as it was re-released on the 3DS Virtual Console and immediately decided it was “lame.”
It’s hard to explain the addictive nature of the game unless you play it first. It can be described very simply as a frustrating Etch-a-Sketch. You make boxes with your cursor, trying to gain at least 75% of the playing field while carefully avoiding enemies.
It plays better than it sounds, and the scoring system is interesting and refreshing. How, I’m not sure.
I played this game for hours. I had a day before announced I was done with games, and Qix brought me back. It’s not a masterpiece, but it’s still so original and exciting that it’s easily worth a measly three bucks.
The downsides are plenty, though. Since it’s a 1990 Game Boy port of a 1981 arcade title, it looks and sounds awful. I haven’t played Qix before this, but I already know that there are automatically better versions out there. At least presentation wise.
Also, Nintendo once again took out the multiplayer functionality. Every 2 player Game Boy game on the 3DS VC service has been gimped the same exact way, and while providing multiplayer between two 3DS systems might be a challenge when it was originally done with a bulky link cable between two gray brick Game Boys, Nintendo overall is just being incredibly lazy. It’s 2011, fucking figure it out.
What’s worse is that the multiplayer in Qix didn’t even require 2 Game Boys. You just passed the same system to a friend. What the fuck??
If you haven’t played (a probably much better port of) Qix before, then for three dollars you should probably just download this on principle. The gameplay is original, addictive, and fun.