Giant Bomb Review


QIX++ Review

  • XBGS

QIX++ is a lifeless remake that isn't good enough to attract new players or satisfy old ones.

The power-up blocks are reminiscent of Volfied. 
The power-up blocks are reminiscent of Volfied. 
There was always something cool about the way classic arcade games seemed like they could last forever. Sure, they'd eventually get prohibitively difficult, but you always had that feeling that maybe... just maybe... you could play the game forever on one quarter. That's why it's so weird that QIX++, a new Xbox Live Arcade update of the Taito arcade classic, Qix, only has 16 levels. Rather than trying to see how far you can go, QIX++ has exactly 16 levels. It's the sort of thing you could complete in under an hour, and unless you're going to start fiending over your leaderboard position, there's not much else to do.

For those of you without a proper base of Qix knowledge to work from, your goal is to use your triangular marker to draw lines on the screen, sectioning off portions of the playfield. You need to claim a significant percentage--usually 75 percent--to move forward. Standing in your way is the Qix itself. The Qix, originally just a strip of color-cycling lines, twists and turns around the playfield. If the Qix collides with your marker or with the line you're drawing, you take a hit. If you run out of shields, the game ends. As you move through the levels, the Qix takes different shapes, making it a bit harder to predict and, thus, a bit tougher to contain. But not all that tough, really. The game has two sections, each with eight levels. It's possible to whip through both of those sections on your first try. While the game has leaderboards in place for a third and fourth section, that appears to be for DLC purposes. Selling a 10 dollar game that's over in an hour and has obvious hooks in place for add-on content feels like... a bit much.

There's a bit more to QIX++, though. You can play multiplayer games, which allow up to four players. In these competitive rounds, the player who claims the most territory wins. Like many other Xbox Live Arcade releases, finding online players seems to be something of a rarity. The matches I got into were a little jumpy and definitely not as smooth as the average online game. You can play locally, though, so if you like the idea of fighting for territory while avoiding a Qix with friends, the option is there. It doesn't really add much to the core game either way.

This longer Qix can be tricky to contain. 
This longer Qix can be tricky to contain. 
Visually, QIX++ is disappointing. While the game tries to paint some kind of weird "evil cyber crime virus" motif in the two pages of pause screen text that serve as its story, the backgrounds and designs of the different Qix are very plain and unimaginative. Remakes and updates of arcade classics have been done with far more class in the past, and Qix is a game that's practically begging for some sort of Jeff Minter-like hyperfreakout visual treatment. Instead, you get an uninteresting look supported by some bland, typical electronic beats.

Qix is a quality arcade game that's inspired plenty of sequels, remakes, and updates over the years. While it doesn't carry the weight of a Pac-Man or a Donkey Kong, the core gameplay works well enough that it's easy to see how it could be remade in a flashy new way that appeals to the digital download crowd. But QIX++ is a short, dull take on the Qix formula that won't rope in new players or satisfy aficionados.
Jeff Gerstmann on Google+

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Posted By babylonian

I am hella frustrated that this turned out how it did. I spent a pretty significant junk of high school playing this fantastic Flash Qix knock-off, and when it started coming out that the XBLA version was crap, my heart broke in such a way that I doubt it'll ever be the same again. :(

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Posted By BD_Mr_Bubbles
@Kohe321 said:
"Good review "
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Posted By Knives

QIX used to be my favorite game on Gameboy. How do you mess this up?

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Posted By jim_dandy

Lumines for XBL felt the same. It was expensive for not a lot of content and it looked like it was just a base for paid add ons.

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Posted By wrecks

Such a bummer. I want a Geowars2 style Qix. But alas, there is this stankfest. 2 stars is generous in the extreme.

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Posted By RobertFoster

So, not double plus good then?

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Posted By MrJared

You know it's bad when a 10+ year old knock-off porn game (Gals Panic S2) wipes the floor with an official HD update. I had high hopes for this :(

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Posted By gosukiller

Not enough ++++++!!!!

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Posted By Kohe321

Good review

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Posted By Milkman

Weirdly, this game has inspired me to fill out all the missing QIX pages on the site over the past few days.

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Posted By cstrang

Just not enough content  for a purchase

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Edited By ahoodedfigure

And man, am I old.
I thought it was crazy they had to little TO it.  I thought with all those mods that the game would feel a bit more diverse, but why not make the thing difficult and drawn out?  Change the challenges around, maybe.  The board.  Make it like...  a SPHERE where you can't see where the Qix is coming from.  I dunno.
Too bad you guys didn't show the local multi-player, though.