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Qix Adventure (Game Boy Color) artwork

Qix Adventure (Game Boy Color) review

"The Curious Case of Qix (Adventure)"

You current gen players donít know how good you have it. Thanks in large part to the wonders of digital distribution, the farcical regional porting merry-go-round of yesteryear has been relegated to the feverish dreamscapes of its survivors. Itís long become a comfortable rant thanks to how I still bring it up every half chance I get, but growing up in Europe with the first few generations of consoles meant that all those big landmark titles taken for granted by many either had release dates separated by years or simply did not materialise at all. Did you know Europeís first official Final Fantasy release was with VII? (So long as you donít count Mystic Quest, and nobody does.) Neither Chrono made it to our shores, the first two Breath of Fire entries never strayed further than stateside. Dragon Questís, Ogre Tacticís Xenogears (Xenosaga: Episode 2 shipped, but not 1 or 3 in what I can only assume is a bout of international trolling). Itís a mighty list.

The Qix Adventure Conundrum -- a Japanese developed game that saw release in Europe but never made it to the ungrateful American masses -- isnít unheard of, but it is unusual. There were obviously plans for a NA release, with Nintendo Power even receiving a pre-release version to soullessly shill the bejesus out of, but a retail copy never materialised.

No oneís saying that Qix should be compared to the genre-defining games Iím still openly bitter about not receiving, but it had already clearly bypassed perhaps the biggest hurdle by having an English translation in place. Itís even pretty well known; even if you donít recognise the name, youíve all probably played Qix in one form or the other. Youíre presented with a grid and have control over something that draws lines through it. By tracing complete shapes, you eliminate parts of the grid, and you can complete each stage by demolishing 75% of it. Only, thereís usually something present that doesnít want you to do that. In this case, pulses will run down the lines you draw to try and fry you while sporadically-coloured light things roam the grid unchecked. Should they make contact with one of your lines before you complete your cut-out, itís curtains for you.

The closer you get to completion, the less space you have to work with, making for riskier cuts planed around roaming obstacles with, thanks to your efforts, little room left to roam. Qix could have left it there and been a decent addition to the puzzle-heavy handheld library, but this isnít just Qix; itís Qix Adventure.

To that end, a brand new Treasure Mode is included. Here, rather than deal with assorted nasties who hate your lines, you have to draw squares around Pokťmon-like monsters in order to steal the treasures they hold on to. It tries to tie this together into a kind of pseudo-RPG, offering you backstories on the monsters you defeat as well as a storage space for any treasures you collect, and the option to use them to decorate a room, but it all feels like filler. Thereís a lot of dialogue between Speedy, the treasure-hunting protagonist, and the monsters he pursues, but itís just a lot of words that say nothing of meaning.

Whoís to blame for this? Nintendo Treehouse strike again! Bad translators, probably. Treasure mode gives you a map to travel around where you can go into different areas to fight different monsters, and thereís certain actions you need to undertake to delve further into the game. Thereís a castle out there somewhere you need to gain access to, but the game never tells you what you need to do. I eventually unlocked it, though Iím not sure how. It might have been waiting for me to reach a certain score, or perhaps I collected the right combination of items from defeated monsters. Iíll probably never know.

The classic Qix mode is where I spend the majority of my Qix Adventure time, dodging psychedelic rave lights that want to end my carefully-plotted deletion of their roaming grounds. Itís not going to hold your attention for hours, but itís a decent mobile puzzle game to waste some time with so long as you pretend really hard Tetris isnít a thing. Hardly seems like a fair exchange though, does it? The rest of the world gets Thunder Force V, but I do get to laud Qix Adventure over you all!

Except, I donít. Not really. You see, even though it never got an NA release, like most handheld games, the carts arenít region locked. So thereís nothing stopping you from importing a copy and playing it in your filthy American Game Boy Colour. Iím not even afforded that small victory.


EmP's avatar
Staff review by Gary Hartley (December 28, 2017)

Gary Hartley arbitrarily arrives, leaves a review for a game no one has heard of, then retreats to his 17th century castle in rural England to feed whatever lives in the moat and complain about you.

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A decent budget platformer if you canít Ňfjord a better one


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honestgamer posted December 28, 2017:

There's a part of me that wants to import this and play it now, just because I can and because my doing so would obviously pain you on some level. Plus, I kind of actually like Qix, even when it's not called Gal Panic.
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EmP posted December 28, 2017:

Or! You could just play the next game in the series, Ultimate Qix for the Genesis, which got an NA release but not an EU one because who cares about continuity.
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jerec posted December 30, 2017:

The Americans didn't even get the Game Boy Colour.

They did get something that's probably similar, a Game Boy Color? WTF even is that?
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EmP posted December 30, 2017:

Originally, I planned to end the review on a similiar joke. But gave up because I couldn't find a way to make it actually funny. So like most of my reviews but without the giving up.

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