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Qix
Box artwork for Qix.
Developer(s) Taito Corporation
Publisher(s) Taito Corporation
Distributor(s) 3DS Virtual Console
Release date(s)
Genre(s) Action
System(s) Arcade, Apple II, Apple IIGS, Atari 5200, Atari 8-bit, Atari Lynx, Commodore 64, Commodore Amiga, Game Boy, NES, MS-DOS, Nintendo 3DS
Players 1-2
Followed by Super Qix
Neoseeker Related Pages
Qix marquee

Qix (pronounced kicks) was an arcade game developed by Taito Corporation in 1981. In many ways, it was ahead of its time. While typically categorized as an action game due to its non-stop nature, it can rightfully be considered one of the first arcade puzzle games due to its abstract nature and heavier reliance upon strategy than on skill. Qix does not portray any real scenario. It pits the player against himself or herself in a virtual playfield.

The object of Qix is simple: claim at least 75% of the stage with your marker. Of course, that is easier said than done. With your marker, you draw right angled shapes that are filled in whenever they are completed. While you are in the process of drawing, there is an ever moving arc of electricity known as the Qix, that bounces randomly throughout the playfield. If any part of the Qix touches the line as you are drawing, you lose one chance. It is easy to avoid the Qix at first, but as the remaining unclaimed space on the stage gets smaller and smaller, the Qix becomes harder to avoid, and you must time your moves with extreme caution. Other elements like the Sparks and the Fuse are present to keep you moving along.

Qix was not as appreciated in its own time as it was later on. Due to its unintuitive gameplay, not too many companies were comfortable taking a chance on bringing it home. But Atari did, and brought it to its two 8-bit systems, the 5200 and its line of home computers in 1982, which uncharacteristically received different versions. It wasn't until 1989 when a company known as Alien Technology Group converted the game, under license from Taito, to several popular home computer lines. In 1990, Nintendo saw fit to license the game and release it for their popular Game Boy handheld system where puzzle games gained popularity, thanks to Tetris. In 1991, Taito brought the game home to the NES, and it also saw one more release on the Atari Lynx. A pseudo-sequel to Qix was released in 1982 called Qix II-Tournament, but was the same game with different colors and a free-game bonus. It was truly followed up by Super Qix in 1987.

Table of Contents

Qix title screen

Gameplay summary[edit]

  • You control the marker. You can freely move around on any existing borderline, but in order to draw into the unclaimed space, you must press the fast or slow speed drawing buttons.
  • If you draw a complete shape that is closed in on every side, you claim a section of the stage. You gain a certain number of points for the size of the space claimed, more so if that entire space was claimed with a slow line.
  • The Qix is the multi-colored arc or lines that bounces throughout the playfield. If the Qix touches the line of an uncompleted shape as you are drawing it, you lose one chance. There can be more than one Qix on a stage.
  • Sparks roam the borderline of the unclaimed space. If they touch your marker, you lose one chance. They can not follow you along a line that you are currently drawing.
  • If you stand still while you are drawing a line, a Fuse will begin to follow and consume the line. Moving will make it disappear until the next time you stop, where it will resume consuming the line. If the Fuse reaches you, you will lose one chance.
  • In order to advance to a new stage, you must claim the minimum percentage of space indicated on the current stage.