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a game by Taito
Genre: Multiplayer/Hotseat
Platforms: NESNES, GameBoy
Editor Rating: 7/10, based on 2 reviews, 3 reviews are shown
User Rating: 8.0/10 - 2 votes
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See also: Arcade Games
Qix Poster
View all 28 Qix Screenshots
  • Manufacturer: Taito
  • Versions: Amiga, Apple II, Apple IIGS, Atari ST, Commodore 64, IBM PC

Taito's latest entry in the coin-op conversion sweepstakes is their 1981 arcade classic, Qix. A good game when it originally charmed the quarters out of pay-for-players, it has been further enhanced for the computing crowd.

The player's main adversary, the Qix, was a form of renegade electrical energy in the earlier version. In 1989, the Qix has been changed into a computer virus. The player must protect the play-field from the Qix, which our humanoid eyes see as a group of lines that shoot haphazardly around the screen. This is accomplished by sectioning off the playfield with an on-screen marker. Keeping the button depressed while staking your claim moves the cursor at slow speed. Releasing the button makes the marker scrawl its line across the screen much more rapidly.

If the Qix touches a segment of the marker line, the player is killed. This places the gamer back at the point where he started drawing the line. If the player is successful in manipulating the marker to touch the edge of the playfield or another previously drawn line, so as to form a box, the area contained within the enclosure is filled. It is then protected from further onslaughts by the Qix. Stopping the marker lights a fuse at the end of the line. This flames its way up the line until the player completes the claim or until the fuse hits the marker, which causes the player to lose one life.

A counter on the right side of the screen indicates the percentage of the screen protected by the player. Points are awarded based on the size of the claim and the speed at which the lines were drawn. Completing a box at slow speed produces the most points, but leaves the player more vulnerable to the Qix.

The Qix isn't the player's only adversary. Two Sparx subviruses move along the lines drawn by the player. Like the Qix, collisions with the Sparx are fatal. Fortunately, after each trip down the line, the Sparx return to their starting positions at the top of the screen, allowing the player time to maneuver out of a sticky situation. At the side of the screen is a Sparx timer. When the timer runs out, two more Sparx are created, and the timer is reset.

Periodically, Spritz sub-viruses split off the Qix. The player can trap a Spritz sub-virus inside a filled section for bonus points. This also results in an extra benefit: all further sections filled at fast speed will gain points as if filled at a slower pace.

Qix graphics are excellent, even in the Commodore 64 version. The protected enclosures are filled by attractive patterns, instead of being filled with solid colors like the arcade original. These patterns vary depending on whether the area filled at fast or slow speed. Other than this enhancement, all graphics are very similar to the arcade original.

Audio is also in abundance. Engaging title music starts the play session, featuring an original jazz score. During the action, everything has its own sound, from the buzzing noise of the Qix to the fizzle of the fuse burning.

The home-computer version of Qix is a worthy adaptation of the coin-snatcher original. Every aspect of the conversion, which was done by Alien Technology Group, either equals or surpasses the original game.

Though it may not break any new ground in 1989, Qix remains an engaging, exciting game. Fans of the arcade original as well as first-time players can count on some high-action entertainment when they take Qix home.

Download Qix


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
  • P-200, 32 MB RAM


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

This game was published by Atari and released in 1982.

What you have to do is to guide a marker in order to claim your territory drawing rectangles and other odd objects. You can draw them slower or faster, and if you choose the "slow" method you will be awarded with most points. As soon as a rectangle has been done, it will be colored to show that you have already claimed the territory of yours. Remember that whilst drawing those rectangles, you have to be careful and look out for the Qix, a series of colored lines crawling the screen. Moreover, you also have to do your best to avoid the Sparks. They travel around the border, as well as any lines that you have made. There is also The Fuse, who travels along the very line that you are drawing. As soon as you have claimed a sufficient amount of territory, you go on to the next level.

Good games are timeless - or are they? Board games such as Monopoly, chess, and checkers have been around for decades or even centuries. Card games such as poker, bridge, and gin rummy are pretty old, too.

But videogames are another story. Most of them seem to come and go in a matter of months. That's why if you remember Qix, you're probably at least 25 years old. Qix first appeared in video arcades in 1981. After a typically brief period of popularity, it went into hibernation until its recent revival for Nintendo, the Game Boy, and home computers.

Unlike a princess in a fairy tale, however, Qix hasn't grown more attractive during its long sleep. In fact, today's gamers might think that Qix has awakened without any improvements. For like all early videogames, Qix is a very simple game with very simple graphics. Each stage begins with a nearly blank screen. Your goal is to fill as much of that screen as possible by moving a small marker. At first, your marker can move only along the screen border. But when you hold down the A or B button, you can move off the border into the open area of the screen, leaving behind a trail. When you move back onto the border or a previously drawn trail, the area you've enclosed is filled with color.

To advance to the next stage, you must fill a certain percentage of the screen. Points are based on how much of the screen you filled and how fast your marker traveled.

To stop you, a sweeping pattern of lines called the Qix roams the screen and attacks your marker. Other enemies include the Sparx (twinkling objects that chase you along the borders); the Spritz (starlike objects that patrol the screen); and the Fuse (a flame that burns up your trail if you move too slowly).

That pretty much sums up the whole game. It's quite challenging, but changes little from round to round. There are no power-ups, warp zones, or stage bosses. Qix is definitely a game for older fans of the arcade classic or those who can do without flashy graphics and 1990s-style action.

Snapshots and Media

NES/Famicom/Dendy Screenshots

GameBoy Screenshots

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