Something to Play: “Q*bert Rebooted”

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And now for something a little more old-fashioned. Remember Q*bert, the classic arcade game about an unexplained freak of nature hopping on blocks? Maybe you remember seeing him in Wreck-It Ralph? The little orange weirdo hasn’t seen a release since around 2005, but thanks to indie studios Gonzo Games and Sideline Amusement, he’s got one more shot at the spotlight.

Q*bert Rebooted has been released on Steam, this year, reintroducing the arcade veteran to a new generation. Not much has changed, in the grand scheme of things. The blocks have been swapped out for hexagons, and a few more enemy types have been added, but it plays the same. You’re still hopping around, changing the board from one color to another, while avoiding all sorts of creatures and balls who, for reasons we will never know, want you dead.  And it’s still just as fun.

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What is different this time around is that inspiration has been taken from modern-day mobile games. Each level provides you with a short list of challenges, such as beating the level in a certain time limit, or reaching a certain score, to get the full three-star rating. Gems (read: in-game currency) also tend to pop up periodically on the board for you to collect.

You can use these gems to buy new characters to play with. Ever wanted to play as a Q*bert cyborg, or a Dracula Q*bert? I know, the thought never entered my mind before, either. But there’s some fun to be had in seeing the classic mascot re-skinned in various costumes. I see potential for a toy line in this.

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Word is that the developers are working on iOS and Android versions of the game, and I can’t wait to see that. The mobile market is a place where these classic arcade franchises with simple mechanics can thrive and find new life. As it stands, it’s $4.99 on Steam for a simple, fun throwback. It even comes with a port of the original game, which may alone be worth the price of admission.

You can check out Q*bert Rebooted on Steam by following this link.

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