Video Game: Qix

Qix (1981) was a Golden Age videogame involving, of all things, drawing. Draw boxes using "stix" to claim as much screen as possible without getting in the path of the "Qix" (pronounced either "kicks" or "quicks" depending on where you live), "Sparx" or "Fuse". Draw slower for more points and hope that you have enough coins. If the Qix touches one of the player's stix while in the process of drawing, a life is lost. Claim enough of the playfield, and the player wins and moves on to the next level. Later levels have two Qixs to deal with. If the player successfully draws a stix between them, the level is cleared automatically, and while you get no bonus points for it, the next level gives you twice the bonus. Simple but very addicting!

One of the few games designed by Taito America.

Several softcore Japanese games use the gameplay of this game. So did Cacoma Knight in Bizyland, which attempted to provide a context for the gameplay and created a Widget Game in the process.

A sequel, Qix++, was released for Xbox Live Arcade. Prior to that, there was a sequel in 1987 called Super Qix in which the player uncovers pictures and features a goblin-like creature as the "Qix" and little red skulls as the "Sparx". Volfied (alternately known as Ultimate Qix or Qix Neo), released in 1989note , is a similar game with a science fiction theme, and incorporates power ups into the gameplay. The original game was also adapted by Nintendo into an early Game Boy title featuring cameo appearances by Mario.

Qix contains the following tropes:

  • Everything Trying to Kill You: A Qix kills you if it touches a stix you're in the process of drawing. Sparx kill you by running into you anywhere on the screen. The Fuse is notorious for killing via the "Spiral Death Trap" — you can't connect a new stix to itself, so if you inadvertently try to do so, then turn the wrong way while trying to correct, you'll end up drawing a spiral that you can't get out of. The Fuse then ignites and runs down your stix just like a fuse on a firecracker.
  • It Is Pronounced Tro PAY: The title has two different pronounciations. In English it's pronounced "kicks", while in Japan, the title is rendered as "quicks" in katakana.
  • Stalked by the Bell: Don't spend too long trying to draw a stix or the Fuse will show up and kill you in short order.
  • Video Game Lives: Other than the traditional Collision Damage caused by the Sparx, the series has a unique take in which you can't let the Qix touch the stix you're currently drawing.