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Q-bert Review

Developer: Parker Brothers Publisher: Parker Brothers
Release Date: 1983 Available On: Atari 2600

Most of the best games released for the Atari 2600 were first party games, and for good reason. Most third party games were imitations of previously released third party games made only for the purpose of making a quick buck. However, among the third party games created for those purposes, there were also those that brought to the table new and creative concepts. Q-bert is just such a game. But is it a game worth playing? Read on to find out.

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The concept behind Q-bert is somewhat complex. The game takes place on a pyramid of blocks. Whenever Q-bert lands on a block, it changes color. The objective of the game is to make every block change to a particular color while avoiding objects that can kill Q-bert or accidentally jumping off of the pyramid. Depending on what skill level you’re playing on, you may have to jump on a block more than once to get it to the right color, and jumping on a block too many times may even change it away from the desired color, thus requiring a lot of strategy on the part of the player.

The most difficult thing about this game is the necessity of diagonal control. Instead of having you move the joystick in the diagonal directions, the game instead expects you to rotate the joystick 45 degrees from the position you’ll normally hold it in and use what is normally left, right, up and down for the four diagonal directions. This will take some time to get used to, but once you do, it won’t be such a big deal.

Aesthetically, the game doesn’t look too bad for a third party game released when it was. The blocks change colors fairly well, and there are plenty of colors present on screen at a time compared to other Atari 2600 games of its period. Q-bert is drawn well with reasonably small pixels in some areas, as are his enemies on the pyramid. The sound effects, on the other hand, are pretty standard fare for the time period. Still, they aren’t bad.

Q-bert brings with it multiple different play modes, which can make a game which can seem to not have much depth have more than it seems. There are also many different levels to be played on. The result is a game with the potential to last a little while, although there are certainly other Atari 2600 games with more lasting appeal than this one. Still, if you have an Atari 2600 and are in the mood for a game that’s just a little bit on the quirky side, you would do well to consider trying this game, and it is fairly common so it shouldn’t be too hard to find.

Graphics: 7
Sound: 6
Gameplay: 7.5
Creativity: 8
Replay Value/Game Length: 8
Final: 7.4
Written by Martin Write a User Review