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- Q*bert's one and only goal is to change the color of all of the cube tops to the goal color indicated in the upper left corner of the screen. To change the color of a cube, Q*bert must merely jump on top of the cube.
- Identify the major threats in the game; the red balls, purple balls, Coily, Wrong Way, and Ugg. Ensure that you steer clear of each of them, and read the How to play section to learn more about each of their behaviors.
- In general, Q*bert should attempt to collect anything green as quickly and safely as possible, whether it is to receive the helpful benefit of the time freeze from the green ball, or stop the disruptive behavior of Slick and Sam. However, do not recklessly attempt to collect them if doing so will cause you to run in to a threat.
- Early in the game, there will only be two discs per stage. As you progress, that number will fluctuate, rising as high as seven in one board, but never lower than two, and finally settling on five for the rest of the game. Aside from green balls, these are your best tools to take a break from the action and get the board back under your control.
- Bonus points are awarded for every stage cleared. In addition, bonus points are also rewarded for any unused discs remaining on the stage. Q*bert is awarded bonus lives at 8000 points and every 14000 points thereafter (default setting.)
- As the game progresses, three things change. The speed of the game gradually increases. The number of characters that you must deal with simultaneously increases. And the complexity of the level rules increases.
- In level one, all you need to do is jump on a cube once to set it to the goal color. Subsequent jumps will never reset the color.
- In level two, jumping once on a cube sets the color to a middle color. Jumping on it a second time will set it to the goal color. Subsequent jumps will never reset the color.
- In level three, jumping once on a cube sets it to the goal color. However, a second jump will revert the cube back to the start color. Each subsequent jump toggles the color between the goal and start colors.
- In level four, jumping once on a cube sets the color to a middle color. Jumping on it a second time will set it to the goal color. However, a third jump will revert the cube back to the middle color. Each subsequent jump toggles the color between the goal and middle colors.
- In level five, and every level beyond, the first jump changes the cube to the middle color, the next jump changes it to the goal color, and the next jump changes it all the way back to the start color. This cycle repeats itself.
- Q*bert's general strategy in level one and two will be to drop from the top of the pyramid towards the bottom and change the lower blocks as early as possible, and gradually work his way back to the top. Occasionally, Q*bert will have to break off of this strategy to jump on a disc to safety.
- From level three on, the strategy should be adapted to focus on getting the lower corners set to the goal color and attempting to never return to them. Start with the corner most cubes, and then work your way out to the second and third layers connected to the corners. Once these cubes are converted, the center cubes of the board are a little easier to deal with since they require less backtracking.
- Level 9 is the last level in the game. After finishing level 8, level 9 repeats forever.