Just Frustratingly Bad
I don't buy many games on Xbox Live Arcade but when I found out Qix++ was a fancy version of Jezzbell, a game I used to waste hours on instead of doing homework, I bought it without a demo trial. Big mistake because that's $10 (800 MS Points) which I won't see again.
If you don't know the idea of the game or it's previous embodiments the screen is a grid which you can move around the perimeter of while a monster, a Qix if you will, roams about in some sort of pattern. Your goal is to draw a line cutting off a piece of that board until you have cleared 80% or more of the board. Points are awarded for how much you claim.
The game looks nice with the Qix having some pretty tough shapes/patterns to compete against. For instance, one level was a triangle but it can fold out into a large number of other triangles to just get in your way as you try to draw your line up the screen. There is a nice if generic techno type beat behind the game play.
What makes this game terrible isn't the look or sound but rather just the pure tease of it all. Where as you had a ramping difficulty in Jezzbell as more and more balls would be added to bounce around and get in your way, here in Qix++ you have large single enemies which have a single "trick" to them, such as the folding out triangles I mentioned before. The nature of the game leads you to want to claim much more than 80% of the board but since the enemies are so large and their movements are to get wider or just move quickly to another area of the screen it makes it hard to get much more than an 86% without getting lucky.
Obviously this is a challenge and you are meant to play the level over and over until you master the patterns of that particular enemy, right? Probably but given that your game is eight levels for each of two "sections" and you can't jump to a specific level in either section you really just get bored with the whole thing qucikly. And, since you don't have to try too hard to get the minimum requirement to beat the level you will end up finishing the game very, very fast. In fact when the credit screen came up after my first play through Section 1 Level 8 I assumed it was a glitch or some kind of weird in game joke.
This isn't a case of not enough meat on the bone to satisfy the money you spent, it's as if the developer brought out a huge covered silver platter, the kind which were always in Looney Tunes when somebody was starving, and they take your money/points and lift the cover to show you a $0.99 McDonald's cheeseburger. Sure that might be tasty to somebody but you had your mind set on something beefy and delicious! Qix++ is a flat, greasy, empty calorie of a game which does nothing but make you feel bad about what you thought you were getting.
To make this purchase worth while there better be some pretty lengthy and free DLC to add about 4 more "sections" of levels to this game. Or just patch in the original old school Jezzbell, that works for me.