Platform: Gameboy
Release Year: 1990
Developer: Taito
Players: Single Player, (Single Gameboy Multiplayer)
ESRB Rating: Everyone

Not your grandfather's Tetris...

No plot. No characters. Repetitive music.

Must be a puzzle game for the Gameboy!

A line monster roams the screen. Around the screen, two blips following the perimeter of the box. You, the lone hero of Screen-ville, have to capture the line monster while avoiding his blip applies. Your only tools? Fencing. It is up to you, brave warrior, to defeat this Qix monster and get the girl.

Only, there's no girl.

Oh yeah. And that plot was entirely of my own devising. But, that is pretty much the game. You use the two buttons and the control pad to make a fence around this Qix. Both buttons make the fence, but with one of them you move slower and score higher. You get points for trapping him in the smallest area possible (the most being 99% of the screen). But, if the Qix touches your fence while it's still being made, then you're down a life.

The game is simple. But the game can go on forever, getting harder and harder. Adding more Qix's. Eventually, it's just so hard that you end up failing again and again. But damned if failing doesn't make you try again. And again. And again.

The sound is the reason you thought of this game, isn't it? Commercials of el Mario-achi playing his little guitar so happily, right?

Oh. Right... Most people don't remember crappy commercials. Well. I do. Because I happen to have this one on tape. Sitting downstairs in my shrine to all things that I could care less about, but don't want to get rid of because I might use it some day.

But ANYWAY. The sound.

Essentially, the game's sound is there to warn you of what's going on. Of when you're moving fast, when moving slow. When the blips have "powered up" and when the Qix kills you. It's perfect. For me, it allowed a honing of concentration available in other games only by turning the volume off. And even then, it wasn't the same. Because there were sounds that helped me recognize events.

But that's not why the sound in this game is awesome.

When you lose, you get a musical send-off. It could be any number of things. From Mario. To a snake Charmer. To... Mario. Okay. So the options aren't massive. But I always felt like I had accomplished something when I got the cheery little "Game Over" music.

Lets be fair. The original Gameboys games weren't pretty. They were simple in visuals, usually. Good, in a lot of cases (Link's Awakening anyone?). But simple. Qix is as simple as it gets. You play a diamond that makes lines. To trap a line monster. It seems pretty silly when you hear it. But that literally makes up all of the graphics. Oh yeah. And there are two slightly different shades, for the filled in boxes.

Still, it worked. The graphics don't distract you when you are deciding what to do. This seemed a benefit to me. I could focus on the game instead of flashy add-ons. Your mileage may vary.

Qix is a puzzle game. I am an addict. It is terribly easy for me to sit down and play games like this for hours with nothing gained in the end, except the occasional spurt of joy from moving beyond my previous records.

That being said, Qix is a good game. Hell, Qix is a great game. In the same way that Tetris was a great game. It was addicting as HELL. There is no real benefits to doing well. Hell, the game doesn't even save your high scores when you turn it off. It's a Gameboy game, for god's sake. Give it a break.

(Apparently, Qix deserved a remake. When the Gameboy Colour game out, they created a game call Qix Adventure. Apparently, it's much more entertaining. I wouldn't know. I hated the Gameboy colour and still do.)

If you like puzzle games, Qix is a must have. If not, you won't be happy with it. That about sums it up.