Qb was originally written for the Atari 800 by Andrew Davie back in 1984. Many years later, Andrew decided to port the game over to the 2600, and he finished his project in March 2001. The PhillyClassic Edition, limited to 50 copies sold only at the PhillyClassic 2001, was the first release of Qb. The object of Qb is to move the blocks around in the lower frame so that they match the upper frame. You can only jump between blocks when they are adjacent, otherwise you can only push them around. Fruit appears that you can jump on for points, but watch out for the monsters.
In early 2002, AtariAge sponsored a contest to create a label for the limited run Qb Special Edition. The winning label was created by David Exton, and you can view all the submitted labels (over 100!) as well as the contest details on the Qb Label Contest page.
Includes cartridge and full-color manual. Available in NTSC and PAL formats (please specify above when ordering).
|Number of Players||1|
|Label Design||Dave Exton|
I was immediately impressed. Everything was very high quality. And the game, while a bit sparse and blocky featured unique and extremely fun puzzle like game play. You rack up points, by moving blocks around a playfield to match a target pattern shown in the right corner of the screen. Your score and life are displayed as well. You have a certain amount of time to match the pattern, and if you fail, it'll change, and of course enemies show up to try and kill you, or mess up your progress. All and all a great start to the Atari 2600 homebrew community.
Graphics: Simple but get the job done. Everything is easy to make out and the sprites look good.
Sound: Not much sound here. Very simple, not groundbreaking, but also not hard on the ears. It gets the job done, but there could be more.
Gameplay: So this is where the title is quite interesting. In the top right of the screen is a tiny version of the playing field. You are to make the larger player field look like the smaller one. You do this by moving your character and the platforms he stands on around. There are fruits available to up your score and enemies that will try to defeat you and move around the pieces themselves. In order to defeat enemies you must hit the button while jumping towards them. Hitting the button will deplete your score.
This is how Qb is both fun and challenging. You are trying to keep your score up and also trying to advance in levels. You have a time limit to get the puzzle correct before it changes. You must be on top of paying attention as to the design you are trying to make (which can change), and paying attention to possible bad guys trying to take a life. It can be easy to miss the fact the puzzle has changed or that you are jumping into a bad guy. It takes some getting use to but can be really rewarding if you stick with it. You can gain extra lives by grabbing the bonus fruit in a certain order.
It would have been nice if they told you the order as opposed to just tease it in the manual. I think it would still be difficult enough to do knowing as you are still trying to complete the puzzle.
If you like puzzles and like fast paced games this is the game for you. It looks simple but can be very challenging. Stick with it through the initial frustrations of learning what you are doing and you won't regret it.
Quality graphics and well worth playing. A nice addition to the collection.