Monday, July 18, 2016

Q*bert Rebooted Review (XONE)

Q*bert has always been sort of weird to me because it usually gets lumped in with Pac-Man and Dig Dug and Pong, among others, as one of the real beloved oldschool “founding father” classic-type video games, but the reality is that Q*bert straight up sucks.  It stood out as bad and boring even in 1982 when most early videogames weren’t especially great, so as you can imagine it basically stinks out loud here in 2016.  This Xbox One release of the game includes both the smelly classic version as well as a “Reboot” version that actually does play halfway decently, but even a good version of Q*bert isn’t much to get excited about.  See our full review for more.

Game Details

  • Publisher: LOOT Interactive
  • Developer: GPC Games
  • ESRB Rating: “E10” for Everyone 10+
  • Genre: Puzzle
  • Pros: Classic Q*bert and new version in one package
  • Cons: Extremely boring gameplay
  • MSRP: $10

Q*bert Rebooted: The Xbox One @!#?@! Edition is a $10 download that includes both classic arcade Q*bert along with a new updated “Rebooted” version of the hexagonal block jumping simulator.  Obviously, the classic version uses the oldschool visuals and sound effects while the Rebooted version has updated HD graphics and a (fairly good) new EDM soundtrack.

In both versions of the game the objective is to jump on blocks to change their color.  As the game progresses, the pattern of blocks changes, enemies are introduced with different ways of messing with you, and some blocks may have to be jumped in multiple times to turn them the proper color.  And that’s pretty much it.  There is some strategy in learning enemy patterns and knowing how to take the most efficient path through each level, but the gameplay is pretty shallow and boring.

The classic Q*bert has extremely poor controls in this collection that make it extremely un-fun.  Yes, even more fun than it has always normally been anyway.  Trying to get Q*bert to actually jump when you want, and in the direction you want, is a total crap shoot.  The classic version is just awful here.

Q*bert Rebooted actually plays significantly better than the classic version with a control scheme that makes it easy to point Q*bert in the direction you want, and then you press a button to jump.  It is fast and responsive and very functional.  Not actually very fun.  But damn is it functional.

The Rebooted version also has a strange currency system where you collect gems to unlock new playable characters that all manage to be uglier and less interesting than Q*bert already is.  They all take a laughably high amount of gems to unlock, too, which is absolutely ridiculous.

Q*bert Rebooted is a desperate attempt to cash in on the current retro gaming craze with the strength of the Q*bert brand, but no one bothered to speak up that the brand is as weak as a newborn kitten.  No one asked for this.  Q*bert is relic of the ‘80’s that is best forgotten and Q*bert Reloaded on Xbox One does absolutely nothing to change that.  Skip it and buy Namco’s Arcade Game Series releases of actual classics instead.