AGH Lynx Review:

by Telegames

Qix Pic 1
ABSTRACT When you think of classic games begging to be translated to contemporary systems, games like Pac-Man, Galaga and Joust immediately come to mind. For most people, Qix probably wouldn't even make it on their list. Telegames had the foresight, however, to bring Qix to the small screen to the delight of fans of the game. It may not have been a super successful hit at the arcades in the early 80's, but its simple, abstract and addicting gameplay has held up well of the years -- more so than many games that were far more popular during the golden age of gaming.

Unlike most abstract puzzlers, gameplay is totally free-form. You need to build squares and rectangles, at two speeds, scoring points for each portion of the playfield pre-emptied by their two-dimensional geometric figures. Meanwhile, a series of closely-spaced parallel lines, known as "Stix", wander freely around the screen, destroying any unfinished boxes it comes in contact with. On the early screens, the object is to either to fast or slow-draw enough boxes (slow-draw being worth more points) to fill in the predetermined percentage of the playfield without being destroyed by the Stix or the equally dangerous "Fuses." Fuses chase the player along its own perimeter the instant the "Qix" or drawing-point stops moving while you're in the process of constructing a box. Once a box is completed it fills up in either of two colors, depending on the speed of movement which you used in completing it.

Qix Pic 2
Later on, you're confronted by a second Stix to contend with. At this point you're faced with one of two options. Either you continue playing as before, attemting to elude the twin killers, or work at drawing a line so as to split the pair by dividing the playfield. Each time the Stix are split, the point value is numerically increased by a single-digit exponent -- doubled, tripled, then quadrupled, etc. I recommend that you try the latter strategy as it not only allows you to rack up more points, but it also provides a greater challenge.

The Lynx version of Qix is enhanced in subtle ways. Unlike the single colors of completed boxes in the original, each level in Lynx Qix has a different design pattern to fill in claimed space. Sound effects are quite simple but some digitized tunes augment the game nicely. One minor quibble with this version is in the control department -- it's much more stiff and unforgiving than its arcade cousin. This version requires precise input or you will find yourself furiously pressing down on the directional pad while watching your guy go nowhere. It doesn't detract that much from the game's playability, although you'll be required to concentrate much more on going where you want to. Overall, Qix is a conservative yet effective translation, and should appeal to both classic fans and puzzle aficionados alike. It's certainly not your usual run-of-the-mill action/puzzler, that's for sure.

Title Qix
Publisher Telegames
System Atari Lynx
Graphics 7
Sound 6
Gameplay 7
Overall 7
Reviewer Keita Iida

Go to previous page