Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Video game number forty three: "Qix++"

Game review number forty three in my 365 Games in 365 Days project is "Qix++".

Qix++ is an Xbox Live Arcade update of an old arcade (and NES) game that I was never a fan of when I was a kid. As a young gamer, I referred to games like this (puzzle/strategy/etc) as "brain" games. I didn't like brain games much, because your character didn't shoot, jump on, drive, punch or kick in them. They always involved some sort of puzzle...or math related challenge. The one exception that I can remember was Tetris, and well...that doesn't count. Tetris transcended all genres and just became something everyone has played, like Pac-Man.

I actually think I played Qix on my NES back in the 1980's at some point or another. I know I didn't own it, but it I remember trying it somewhere and thinking the graphics were stupid, and that it wasn't as cool as the Tron light cycle game. I probably gave it a really quick try before I moved on. Obviously, I've matured a lot since then.

Playing Qix++ was a lot more fun than I remember the original Qix being. It reminds me of a free game called "Trap" that I have on my phone. You start with a big square of space, and your goal is to shave down at least 75% of it in order to clear the level and kill the "Qix". The Qix is a bad guy, made up of geometric shapes, that can shoot projectiles at you. Ideally, you'll shave enough of the screen down that you eventually trap this thing in a tiny little box. If you can manage to do that and end up clearing almost 99% of the screen out at the same time, you're awesome. Best I've gotten so far is around 95%. Doing better is really hard, but I've seen youtube videos and it can be done.

There are power ups (bonus points, shields for your character, shrink rays that make the Qix smaller and easier to trap, time freezes, etc)...but essentially, this is just one of those games where you hack off bits of the screen at a time until there's no screen left. Simple and fun.

That's pretty much it. It's a great little time waster, easy to pick up...really tough to master.

Overall Score: 7/10. I like it, I can see myself playing it again from time to time...but it's not a game I'll ever try to grind for all 200 achievement points on. Here's what I unlocked today:


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