rubyQ - Atari 2600



TV Type:  NTSC        PAL60      

Different from his noble cousin, rubyQ has a tougher life because his blocky pyramid is full of hazards with more enemies, strange cubes, and elusive discs.

Completing a pyramid will be really hard work sometimes, but with a little strategy and the help of his brother Qybur, things could be a little easier.

Come and help rubyQ and Qybur in this strange, noisy, and fancy world!

rubyQ Box


Your goal is to score as many points as possible by changing all of the pyramid’s cubes to the Destination Color (shown in the top left corner of the screen on a small cube). To do this, you’ll have to jump on every pyramid’s cube one or more times until all cubes have the Destination Color. Meanwhile, you’ll have to avoid or neutralize your enemies, taking care to not jump on Special Cubes, and using the Discs carefully.

You’ll start the game with rubyQ at the top of the pyramid (or with rubyQ and Qybur on the pyramid’s second topmost cubes) and three reserve rubyQs (and Qyburs, of course). You’ll lose a life if your character jumps off the pyramid and falls into void, or if he is hit by the Bad Boys. In the former case, your reserve character will restart from the initial position at or near the top of the pyramid. If hit by a Bad boy, you will restart from where it was hit.

When all the pyramid is colored with the Destination Color, you’ll end the current round and proceed to the next one and possibly to the next level. Each level is composed of four rounds and a Bonus Round (only in Funky and Mad Modes). There are nine different levels with different cube coloring sequences; after level nine, the game continues with the last color sequence, and the game speed continues to ramp up until the maximum speed is reached at level 11.

The game is over when all players lose their reserve rubyQs and Qyburs. If a new high score is achieved, you’ll be requested to add your name to the Hi Score Table (stored in the AtariVox/SaveKey if one is plugged in). After the high score is saved, you can start a new game.

rubyQ Cart and Manual

The Bad Boys

rubyQ features various enemies that will try to stymy your attempts to change all the pyramid's cubes to the Destination Color!

  • Red Ball: Falls from top of pyramid and proceeds down the pyramid randomly, hoping to hit rubyQ.
  • Pink Ball: Like the Red Ball, but when it falls on a lower pyramid cube it transforms into Sssnake!
  • Sssnake: The Sssnake is always trying to catch rubyQ. You can confuse the Sssnake with a “perfectly timed” rubyQ jump on a Disc, after which it will fall off the pyramid. But beware, don’t jump too early on the Disc, as it will not be fooled and will instead be waiting for rubyQ at the top of the pyramid!
  • Plonky: Falls from the top of the pyramid and jumps down the pyramid, randomly clearing previously colored cubes. It can be caught and neutralized by rubyQ.
  • Flashing Plonky (Only in Funky and Mad Modes): Like his brother, but changes cubes to a Locked Color that can be only reset to the Starting Color by Sssnake jumping on them.
  • Elfie and Gobblie (Only in third and fourth rounds): They jump horizontally left to right and right to left, making rubyQ’s life even more dangerous and confused.
  • Icy (Only in Funky and Mad Modes): Falls from the top of pyramid and proceeds down the pyramid, randomly icing cubes. Iced Cubes remain cold for a while before returning to their Starting Color. If rubyQ jumps on an Iced Cube, he gets cold and moves slower for a short period of time. Icy can be caught and neutralized by rubyQ.
  • Stormy (Only in Mad Mode): Falls from the top of the pyramid and proceeds randomly down the pyramid, electrifying cubes. Electrified Cubes remain for a while before reverting back to the Starting Color. If rubyQ jumps on an Electrified Cube, he will get confused and the joystick control will be reversed! Sssnake also suffers for a period of time after touching an Electrified Cube, causing him to jump in random directions, hopefully jumping off the pyramid!

The Good Boys

  • Green Ball: Falls from the top of the pyramid and jumps down the pyramid randomly. If rubyQ touches the Green Ball, all enemies will be stunned for a short time and touching them will not be harmful during that time. But beware: during this time, rubyQ can still fall off the pyramid!
  • Disc: The Disc is a great way to escape from hazards, particularly from Sssnake (with a perfectly timed jump). But beware: in Funky Mode the disc shifts up a position periodically, and in Mad Mode they shift to a random position! When Discs start to flash, pay attention because they are going to change position!

Special Cubes

  • Locked Cubes (Only in Funky and Mad Modes): When Flashing, Plonky jumps on a cube and it becomes a Locked Cube: no rubyQ or Qybur hop on it will change its color. To reset the cube to its Starting Color, you’ll have to make Sssnake jump on it.
  • Iced Cubes (Only in Funky and Mad Modes): When Icy jumps on a cube, it becomes an Iced Cube for a while: no rubyQ or Qybur hop on it will change its color. Moreover, if rubyQ jumps on an Iced Cube, he gets cold and moves slower for a while. After a short period of time, Iced Cubes will return to their Starting Color.
  • Electrified Cubes (Only in Mad Mode): When Stormy jumps on a cube, it becomes an Electrified Cube for a while. If rubyQ jumps over an Electrified Cube, he get confused and joystick control will be reversed for a while. Also, Sssnake will be affected after jumping on an Electrified Cube causing him to jump in random directions, and with any luck, he’ll jump off the pyramid!
  • Teleporting Cubes (Only in Mad Mode): Teleporting Cubes are placed randomly on the pyramid and can be hazardous or provide a quick escape from danger. If rubyQ or any other enemy jumps on a Teleporting Cube it will be warped to another random Teleporting Cube. A Teleporting Cube pair can be returned to the Starting Color only by rubyQ. On level 1 there are only a couple of Teleporting Cubes and every new level adds a new pair.
  • Hot Cubes (Only if option enabled): If rubyQ spends too much time sitting on a cube, it will become a Hot Cube, and rubyQ will need to jump off of it as soon as possible, or jump on his own without the player’s input! In this case, rubyQ could fall off the pyramid! When a cube begins flashing red, jump on another one as soon as possible, or you’ll likely lose a life. Hot Cubes will turn back to the Starting Color after rubyQ jumps off of them.

Bonus Round (only in Funky and Mad Modes)

After four rounds of each level, a Bonus Round will begin, with a dark pyramid and colorful Plonkys falling down. You have 20 seconds to catch the as many Plonkys as you can, or you can change all the cubes to the Destination Color (with only one jump required to). But beware: Plonkys will always be clearing cubes they jump on, and as usual you can fall off the pyramid!


  • Three game modes: Classic, Funky, and Mad.
  • Five difficulty modes: Easy, Normal, Hard, Hardest, and Turbo.
  • Three graphics modes: Scanline GFX, Black GFX, and Classic GFX.
  • Select Hotcubes On or Off.
  • AtariVox/SaveKey support for saving high scores.
  • Speech support when an AtariVox is plugged into your console!
  • QuadTari support to allow two-players with an AtariVox/SaveKey connected.
  • Difficulty switches to select joystick rotated 45 degrees or normally for each player.
  • You can pause rubyQ at any time by pressing the joystick button.


rubyQ Screenshot rubyQ Screenshot rubyQ Screenshot rubyQ Screenshot rubyQ Screenshot rubyQ Screenshot

QuadTari Support

rubyQ has built-in support for the QuadTari, which is a device that allows you to plug up to four controllers into your Atari 2600 or 2600-compatible system. In the case of rubyQ, you can connect two joysticks and an AtariVox or SaveKey into your console at the same time. This allows two players to enjoy the game while being able to save your high scores to the AtariVox or SaveKey. You can see all the games in the AtariAge Store with QuadTari support here.

AtariVox Support

If you have an AtariVox or SaveKey plugged into the second controller port, your high scores will be saved. Additionally, if you're using an AtariVox, you'll hear speech in the game! To reset AtariVox/SaveKey scores, press RESET on the splash screen for a short duration.

Additional Information

Included with rubyQ is the game cartridge, full-color 16-page manual, and a professionally printed box. rubyQ is available in NTSC and PAL60 television formats. Please specify above when ordering or you will receive an NTSC cartridge by default.

Number of Players 1 - 2
Controller Joystick Controllers
Cartridge Size 32K Melody
Coding Silvio Mogno
Manual, Label, and Box Design Vladimir Zúñiga
Retro Bliss on 01/27/2023 04:22pm
I'm so excited about this game! The game shows the improved graphics and gameplay, and I love the different game mode options. "Mad Mode" is truly MAD! I'm also happy about the savekey and atarivox support, including speech! Thumbs way up!

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