1-2 players, horizontal game
Telegames, the first developer of third-party Lynx games, strikes the market again with QIX. This is an adaptation of the Taito arcade game from the early 80s, named after the Qix, a swirling helix of colored lines. The player's goal is to draw boxes on the playing field, restricting the movement of the Qix, while avoiding contact with the Sparx, Fuse, and the Qix itself. Each level has a percentage threshold, and the level ends when you have claimed the limit, with bonuses rewarded to extra territory. Higher levels offer more Qixes, Fuses, and Super Sparx to outsmart.
The original QIX was a simple game by today's standards, so it is not surprising to find that the Lynx version plays exactly the same. The Qix dances around the field, and you lose a life if it touches your drawing lines. Points are awarded for drawing boxes, with more points given for daring to draw slowly. There are 256 levels, each with its own combination of game elements, and a password to avoid the earlier levels. Two players can compete by alternating turns, while built-in instructions and a Practice Mode help beginners learn the game.
There are a few problems, however. The arcade game used separate buttons for slow and fast drawing, but this version uses only one, which is awkward. More annoying are the sensitive controls; a wayward diagonal can cause the marker to jam, leaving you vulnerable. Finally, the Qix is proportionally larger on the Lynx, making the game slightly harder. None of these flaws are crippling, but they do diminish the game.
The simple graphics of the Taito QIX have been renovated slightly for the Lynx. Each level uses a different pattern to fill in claimed space, and the other visuals have been duplicated here. Sound effects are fairly simple, consisting mainly of the buzzing of the Qix and two short tunes, though the title page uses a nice, short digitized rock riff.
QIX on the Lynx is a steady translation, offering no more and no less than the original. Whether it will appeal to today's players is questionable, but longtime devotees and people who like unusual games will probably enjoy this title.
GAMEPLAY: 7 GRAPHICS: 8 SOUND: 6.5 OVERALL: 7