Qix (often stylized as QIX, pronounced "kicks") is an action-puzzle game developed and released by Taito's American division in arcades on October 1981.
In Qix, players guide a "marker" around the edges of the playfield and carve areas inside the playfield to claim them and extend the edges inward. Along the way, they must dodge the unpredictable Qix and the edge-traveling Sparx.
Along with multiple sequels, the game received ports to multiple computers (including Atari 8-bit computers, Commodore 64 and Commodore 128 computers, Amiga computers, the FM-7, Apple II and Apple IIgs computers, and MS-DOS PCs) and consoles (including Atari 5200, Nintendo Entertainment System, Game Boy, and Atari Lynx) as well as multiple clones and spin-offs (most notably the Gals Panic eroge series). The Game Boy version is notable for including the Nintendo characters Mario, Luigi, and Princess Peach.
The Game Boy version was later digitally released as a Virtual Console title for the Nintendo 3DS in June-July 2011, while the original arcade version was digitally released for the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4, both as part of HAMSTER's Arcade Archives series, on March 10, 2022.
In Qix, players guide a "marker" around the edges of the playfield and carve groups of lines (or "Stix") inside the playfield to form closed shapes and claim the area inside (extending the edge of the playfield inward), with the round being cleared once enough of the playfield has been claimed.
Players have access to two buttons: Fast Draw and Slow Draw. While they can move along the edges normally, they can only draw Stix inside by holding either button. Slow Draw is unique as it makes the marker move slower, but grants double points if an area is claimed solely using the button (which highlights the area in red instead of blue). If the player neglects to move while drawing, a fuse beings to follow the Stix they drew, which kills the marker if it reaches it and is defused once the marker moves.
The round ends once the player claims at certain amount of the playfield (with the default being 75%), which resets the playfield and grants bonus points based on how much of the playfield above the threshold were claimed (1000 pts. per 1%).
Along the way, they must dodge two types of enemies:
- The Qix, a large being that roams unpredictably inside the playfield. It cannot harm the marker when its along the edge, but it can kill the marker if it touches Stix that are being drawn. For claiming areas, the part of the playfield the Qix is in cannot be claimed. Later levels have multiple Qix on the screen at once, which resets the round and adds to a score multiplier if players manage to perform a "Split Qix" (in which there are Qix on both parts of the playfield when an area is claimed).
- Multiple Sparx, which follow along the edges of the playfield and kills the marker when they touch it. While normal Sparx (colored red) cannot follow the marker through Stix being drawn, they can be upgraded to Super Sparx (colored blue) after a while, which can move along the Stix. A timer bar at the top of the screen shows when additional Sparx are added to the playfield.