Q-Bert is a classic title that retrogaming fans either love or hate. This either/or sense of feeling about the game is due to the control scheme and the angled playfield. For me, I was not a fan of Q-Bert in my younger days as I was simply too hard headed to accept the control scheme versus the level layouts. I have grown up a bit over the last three decades. Late last year I covered Mega Q-Bert as it was re-entering development. Earlier this week one of our friends, Berto Yulianto, informed me that the final version of Mega Q-Bert was available for the Sega Genesis. I had to try it out as I enjoyed the earlier build.
Well, I still suck at the basic idea of Q-Bert. The controls, there are a few choices in Mega Q-Bert, all are hard for me to wrap my head around. This caused me to jump the wrong way many times- as you can see in the video below.
The basic idea of Q-Bert is to jump on the blocks that make up the level. When you jump on the blocks they change color, later levels require jumping on blocks more than once to get the color needed to advance. This sounds simple but it really is not. The reason it is tough requires a two part answer.
First, there are enemies- what fun would it be if there were no enemies? Touch them and you are dead. Simple
Second, the angle of the playfield is a bitch. This is true of the original game too though. You will find yourself wondering if the powerup is above, below or beside the block you are currently on. Sometimes it takes a leap of faith. Q-Bert is full of leaps of faith.
The Sega Genesis version features two modes. Mega Mode which is comprised of 80 levels that are quite irregularly shaped. I featured this mode in the gameplay video above. The other mode is Arcade Mode which is, well, based on the arcade game. The developer says that Arcade Mode is actually based on the Nintendo Entertainment System version of the game.
Mega Q-Bert is a great take on the original game. There are many similarities and familiar gameplay for fans to enjoy. While I sucked at it, I did enjoy it more this time than I did as a kid.
Want a copy of Mega Q-Bert? Head over to Sega-16.com forums.