Aug 16, 2013
There’s a problem with QbQbQb, and so many other puzzle games, from a reviewer’s perspective: they are impossible to describe. They look fine and simple, when I play them, but when I have to put them on paper – it was easier to describe my feelings to a girl I liked in fifth grade, and get a lifetime of shame, than to explain this stuff.
Although QbQbQb is difficult to understand from the screenshots, or my ramblings, it’s actually very simple to play. That said, it’s not easy – and it’s a great combination. Simple to learn, impossible to master. The challenge comes from the twisted way the game looks. It’s a Tetris-esque match-something arcade, but instead of giving a traditional flat surface to throw the incoming bricks on, QbQbQb opts for a circular one. To put it simply: there are various shapes, falling onto a planet from all angles, and the player needs to rotate the planet around its axis, to put them in the required places on top of it. The planet only rotates by 30-degree angles, so there are 12 possible positions the pieces are coming from, and can be placed on, which makes it a bit more manageable. But still difficult to wrap the head around, in the heat of the action.
There are many different game modes in QbQbQb, and it’s quite impossible to list them all. The most basic one is where multicolored pieces are thrown one by one, and the pieces with the same color that fall on top of each other, get removed if there are three of them in a column. In another mode, the pieces with the same color that are precisely opposite each other on the planet, get annihilated.
The game modes are very different, but have several common rules. The planet has a circle at a certain orbit around it, and when one of the multicolored towers that eventually rise up from the player’s mistakes, reaches beyond it, it gets destroyed, removing one of the planet’s two lives. There are also asteroids that come at random angles. They can destroy a part of a column they hit, helping to eliminate the threat before it becomes critical. Each mode in QbQbQb is infinitely long, so, like in Tetris, the players’ skill and endurance are the only limit. I’d like to note that my personal skills and endurance left much to be desired.
The only significant problem I got with QbQbQb, besides its name – how the hell do I spell that? – is its control scheme. After writing two pargraphs about it, I understood I can’t even describe my issues on paper, so just trust my word: controls are strangely flawed, and some of the buttons are in the way. Oh, and the theme song is impossible to get out of one’s head. Although I can’t say I’m against that.