Atari 2600 Friday’s #4 – Q*bert
This week the fortune cookie picked out Q*bert for me. I have the Parker Brothers version.
The Story: Is another arcade game and doesn’t really have one. You’re just this ‘thing’ hoping around a pyramid hoping to avoid the monsters. At least as far as I can tell there is no story, feel free to let me know if there is and I’ll edit this.
From the Manual: “Object: To score as many points as possible by changing the color of the cubes on the pyramid from a starting color to a destination color. You’ll do this by hopping Q*bert from cube to cube while avoiding the “nasty” characters who will try to stop him. Each time you complete a pyramid, you’ll proceed to a new pyramid – or round. Try to complete as many rounds as you can. There are five games levels in all: four rounds per level.”
From the Box: “Q*bert springs to life with all the adventure of the popular arcade game. Colorful graphics and arcade-like sounds accompany the game’s lively action. Hop Q*bert up and down the steps of a “three-dimensional” pyramid, changing each step’s color as he lands. Complete the entire pyramid, and Q*bert moves to a more challenging pyramid. But look out! the crafty arcade creatures are here, too, and they’re after Q*bert. Hop out of danger fast – or soar to safety on a Flying Disc. But watch out where you move Q*bert. One hop off the pyramid, and he’ll be lost in space! Q*bert – the lovable arcade character in his lively action and adventure game.”
The Game play: You play as Q*bert, yes that * is part of his name, hoping around this pyramid trying to change the color of all the tiles to the target color to move onto the next level and do it all again. After a few levels, Tiles will change color every time you land on them, taking more steps to hit the target color. Watch out though Coily the purple snake, Ugg and Wrong-Way who I’m guessing are the slime blobs, and Slick and Sam two color reverting gremlins, are all trying to stop you. Touching any of them is fatal, but you do have the frisbee discs on the sides of the board to help you escape back to the top of the pyramid. Also apparently contact with a red ball is lethal to Q*bert, while contact with a green one will immobilize the on-screen enemies. Be careful though, it is also possible to jump off of the pyramid, naturally to one’s own death.
The Controls: Only the up, down, right, left direction buttons to move in angles. This info straight from the manual itself should help with how this works “Hold the Joystick in your hand so that the four corners make a diamond with the Fire Button at the top. The Joystick moves in the four diagonal directions shown. These are the directions in which Q*bert moves around the pyramid.” Similar to more modern srpg games with an isometric view/grid.
Post Review: Q*bert, another simple arcade game ported to the Atari 2600. Q*bert, another example of a port that isn’t quite the best but still works for what it is managing to capture the game in a way the system could handle, but still be what it’s supposed to be. This version of Q*bert is fairly simple and fairly easy for the first few levels. Q*Bert gets four lives on mode 1, which is still the only mode I can check on for the time being. It doesn’t stop the game from getting harder of being fun though. Q*bert really isn’t a complex or detailed game. I wish there was more I could go into to. Go look up the creator’s story on how the game was made, it’s an interesting read.
The High Score: 15,425