Winter!: Prepare for holiday gaming!
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A colorful adaptation of the arcade sequel, Q*Bert's Qubes brings the long-snouted, foul-mouthed one home yet again. As with Parker Bros. ubiquitous Atari VCS version of the original Q*Bert (come on, who didn't have a copy of it?), the joystick must be rotated 45 degrees so that the action button is dead center at the top for the game's diagonally-oriented action. Players guide Q*Bert around a square playing field (tilted at a 45-degree angle) of cubes. All of the cubes have different colors on their sides and rotate in the direction in which Q*Bert jumps. The object of the game is to line up one row of cubes, Tic-Tac-Toe-style, so they're all aligned the same way. This may seem simple enough, but a brand new host of hopping enemies has come along to make Q*Bert's life more difficult, including a big purple rat and any number of smaller adversaries (sporting their own Jimmy Durante-type schnozzes); the latter of these can be disposed of if they land on a cube whose top face is the same color as they are. With each wave cleared, a new one begins, each faster and more difficult than the last.
Q*Bert's Qubes for the Atari VCS boasts some graphical improvements over the version of Q*Bert already released by Parker Bros., along with some very smooth gameplay. Unfortunately, as it was released right before the bottom dropped out of the video game industry in the early 80s, Q*Bert's Qubes was neither produced or distributed in great numbers, and the crash made it something of an unplanned "limited edition" which now commands eyebrow-raising (and wallet-emptying) prices among some collectors. (The same can also be said of other latter-day Parker Bros. titles, like Mr. Do's Castle.) Yet Q*Bert's Qubes is a rarity worth playing. ~ Earl Green, All Game Guide