If you are a tortured soul like myself, you may have made the mistake of watching the Pixels movie. If you are like me also, you may have recognised a character that pops up, Q*bert, who was a big enough icon for me to recognise him, while never actually having seen his game.
In comes Q*bert: Rebooted, an opportunity for people to revisit this iconic, saggy pipe-for-a-nose character, in its old and new format, and I’ll be honest, it’s rough.
Kicking in Q*bert Rebooted, you get two options, Classic and Rebooted. If you start Classic, it creates an arcade length screen, with some classic arcade cabinet art around the outside. It’s a charming way to play an old game. The rebooted version is a good-looking version of Q*bert, but good looking isn’t enough.
In Classic, Q*bert starts at the top of a pile of cubes and must touch everyone to change its colour. Successfully changing each one moves you on to the next level for more cube colour changing goodness. Trying to stop you are balls bouncing down the stairs, and snakes which move in every direction, chasing you down.
Q*bert’s only enemy are speed, and these weird discs that if you jump on them, he transports to the top again, and the snakes fall off the side. It’s fun as all hell, and weirdly addictive. It’s no wonder this character has become an icon.
After playing this simple but fun arcade game, it was time to check out the Reboot. Imagine how much fun this could be.
The short answer, it’s flawed and frustrating.
The first notable change is, instead of a stack of cubes, it is a stack of Hexagons, meaning there are two more connected edges to each shape. This brings the game’s biggest flaw which is that you can move in all these directions. You get more used to this after some time, but until then it’s unnecessarily infuriating.
The maps have also been mixed up a lot to start much smaller, and then they start to change shape and start missing hexagons. These little changes would be much more bearable, even enjoyable, if it wasn’t for the frustration around Q*bert’s movement. Knowing exactly how Q*bert will react is crucial for puzzles of this sort be fun, and again, it’s not.
With Rebooted, if the same game used cubes instead, it could be a fun adaptation of the original. Instead I seriously only putting up with this for a few hours over a couple of sessions, before frustration caused me to put it down, for good.
The good news is you have put no additional money into this game, so you can download it at no extra cost to check out the old version of Q*bert. But if you don’t want to torture yourself with frustration, make sure you avoid the Rebooted version at all costs.
Go check out TrackMania Turbo, Mad Max or something, as they may be fun.