The Game: Q*Bert is back, hopping around from cube to cube, rotating the cubes 90 degrees with every hop…but a nasty bouncing rat and his minions are out to get the big Q. If one of the rat’s henchmen hops onto a cube whose top surface is the same color as its skin, it melts into the cube harmlessly. Q*Bert must change at See the videoleast one row of cubes to the target color to advance to the next level – and there aren’t any flying discs this time! (Parker Brothers, 1984)
Memories: Thanks to a quirk of distribution more than anything, Q*Bert’s Qubes is one of the rarest and most valuable games for the Atari 2600. In the post-crash world of unhealable deep-cut discounts, some retailers decided to get out of the video game “fad” as soon as they could possibly get out from under the inventory. As a result, the final few Parker Brothers game cartridges wound up being sold almost exclusively through Sears. (As the retail chain that invested heavily in such products as Atari’s original home Pong console, Sears had more of a stomach for staying with the video game industry than most, but even then they balked a bit as the Atari gravy train went off the rails.)
As with the 2600 edition of Q*Bert, Q*Bert’s Qubes requires players to rotate the joystick 45 degrees to the right, so that the action button is at the top of a diamond. In terms of graphics and sound, there’s a surprising amount of continuity with the 2600 edition of Q*Bert – the programmers didn’t feel the need to reinvent the wheel when it came to 2600 Q*Bert‘s already abundant variety of quirky sound effects, for example.
Along with some other Parker games like Mr. Do’s Castle, Q*Bert’s
Qubes is a true rarity – it’s not only hard to find, but it’s worth
the hunt too.