What’s a Q*bert? He’s a cantankerous little orange feller with an anteater-like snout and a penchant for swearing in an alien tongue. Don’t worry, parents, his swearing is cutely expressed in asterisks and squiggles, accompanied by an audio clip of garbled electronic noises. Q*bert was the star of his very own coin-op video game that debuted back in 1982, challenging players to hop from cube to brightly colored cube while avoiding missteps and collisions, and this PlayStation remake contains that old game in its entirety. Also here is a brand new set of challenges spanning 24 lamp-lit levels.
Q*bert doesn’t make a very smooth transition from arcade to PlayStation, mostly because of its lack of decent control. In the original, coin-op version, players used a joystick that could move only on the diagonal to hop along cubes, changing their top color. In this version, the existence of the two sticks on the PlayStation analog or dual shock analog controllers is ignored. Instead, you must tilt your controller and use the D-pad to diagonally move Q*bert across the playing field. Still, the game has an inspired design, with cute characters, funny sound effects, and plenty of power-ups. But the control interface has a huge impact on gameplay, and in this case it’s negative. –Jeff Young
- Includes the entire, original arcade game
- Groovy, psychedelic graphics
- Very hard to control
- Confusing menu designs