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". Dividing the play-field fills the area without a Qix, claiming it for the player. Draw slower for more points and hope that you have enough coins. If a 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 Score Multiplier is incremented by one. Simple but very addicting!
One of the few games designed by Taito America.
Qix received a sequel in 1987 called Super Qix, with improved graphics and a fairy tale fantasy theme. Instead of an abstract stick-like enemy, the Qix appears as a goblin-like creature, while the Sparx appear as sinister red skulls. Volfied (alternately known as Ultimate Qix or Qix Neo), released in 1989note , is a similar game with a Darker and Edgier 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. The latest game in the series, Qix++, was released for Xbox Live Arcade in 2009, and later as a Japan-exclusive port for the Playstation Portable.
Qix contains the following tropes:
- Adaptation Expansion: The NES version adds "Spritz," which bounce around the screen in diagonals hoping to hit you.
- The Cameo: Mario in the Game Boy version.
- Endless Game: The levels keep on coming until the player runs out of lives.
- 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.
- Instant-Win Condition: If the level has two Qixes and you manage to separate the Qixes, the level is instantly cleared with no bonus points, but the Score Multiplier is incremented by one.
- No Pronunciation Guide: The title has two different pronounciations. In English it's pronounced "kicks", while in Japan, the title is rendered as "quicks" in katakana.
- One-Hit-Point Wonder: Anything that can kill you will do so in one hit.
- Score Multiplier: This starts at 1x, and is incremented by 1 each time that you manage to win a level by drawing stix in a way to separate the two Qixes in the level in levels with 2 Qixes.
- 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.
- Xtreme Kool Letterz: The letter X shows up a lot.