Wednesday, August 10, 2011


John Marine | 8/10/2011 01:38:00 AM | |
Qix (pronounced "kicks") was a game released by Taito in 1981 for arcade. The goal was to contain as much of the playing field as possible by drawing Stix while avoiding the Qix. You must contain at least 75 percent of the playing field to clear the level. The Qix was this erratic-moving line that dominates most of the field. This blog post introduces you to this game.

--- Qix at a Glance and Strategy ---
Qix is an addictive puzzle game. The strategy is to contain as much of the playing field as possible without having the Qix break up your lines. You have to draw figures to contain the playing field. They must originate from the perimeter of the playing field, and you can only make boxes (so no diagonal figures can be created). When a figure is created, two factors determine how many points you receive: (1) Fast or Slow Stix, and (2) its area. Fast Stix are determined by teal-colored figures while Slow Stix are determined by red-colored figures. There are four real obstacles that determine whether you survive or not:

• The Qix - avoid that line at all costs! If you touch it while trying to make figures, you will lose a life. Make your figures quickly to avoid getting cut off by the Qix.

• Sparx - sparks that trail the perimeter of the playing field and your Stix. You will lose a life if they catch up with you as you're trying to make figures.

• The Fuse - if you take too long deciding what figure you're going to make a fuse will light. If that fuse catches up with you, you will lose a life.

• Spiral Death Trap - this is a rare situation in which you are unsure where to go. So here, you make a spiral that ends up costing you a life.

After clearing two levels, the game gets tougher as subsequent levels have you battling TWO Qix.


So how do you get through this game? Here are few points:

• Making figures is obviously what you want to do. You can either make quick and small figures to set up for larger figures, or you can make large figures to clear levels quicker. The best thing to do is to set up small figures and don't go for larger figures until you've made enough progress to where you take a chance making larger figures.

• Another important aspect of this game is to consider whether to make Fast Stix or Slow Stix. If you're trying to earn more points, Slow Stix is the way to go. You can cancel creating Slow Stix by immediately shifting over to Fast Stix. However, you can't alternate from Fast Stix to Slow Stix.

Pay attention to the Qix's movements and adjust accordingly. The Qix is in no way predictable in movement. It sometimes wants to take up a good deal of the playing field. Other times, it is smaller than usual and confined to a certain area. Use these moments of indecision to plan your attack on the Qix.

• By far, the most effective method most players use is to try to "Cage the Qix." This is where a player tries to set up as many figures as possible to try to confine and contain the Qix in one area to clear the level faster. Done right, you can confine the Qix to a small area and use any remaining space to rack up a lot of points. You have to be VERY quick, however, as the Qix won't stay in a certain area for too long.

• Try to complete your figures quickly. Sometimes, you may realize that you think you've completed a figure, all to find out you haven't completed it. You will know about this situation when you note the fuse being lit as you're trying to complete a figure. So make sure to complete your figures to extend the game.

• (Level 3 and onwards only) If you make it past two rounds of Qix, every level afterwards requires you to go against two Qix. Every completed Stix will count fot double points if you are able to trap one of the two Qix. Most of the same strategies still apply. Just remember that going against two Qix will be twice as tough.

--- Review of Qix ---
For a lot of people, this game was a failure only because there weren't any real levels or way to actually clear this game. Many others praised a game like Qix because of its addictive gameplay and purely simplistic elements. This was a game you would probably spend many quarters playing this game again and again. Qix is one of the many games featured in "Taito Legends 2."

Video Preview.

This game is two years older than me (I was born in 1983). Enjoy this bit of 1981 greatness:

This was from an emulator, so that's why the video may sound very distorted. This was courtesy of "HardWiredGaming" on YouTube. I chose this specific video to show a basic look of how to play the game. But really, this channel released this video because in a previous video, HWG played this game poorly. Want to see the original? Check this out:

Needless to say, this is a classic title that is addictive and fun to play.

Thank you for reading!

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