Qbert Arcade Machine is an arcade game developed and published for the North American market by Gottlieb in 1982. Qbert Arcade Machine is a 2D action game with puzzle elements that uses isometric graphics to create a pseudo-3D effect.
The objective of each level in the game is to change every cube in a pyramid to a target color by making Qbert – the on-screen character – hop on top of the cube while avoiding obstacles and enemies.
The game is played using a single, diagonally mounted four-way joystick. The player controls Qbert who starts each game at the top of a pyramid made of 28 cubes, and moves by hopping diagonally from cube to cube. Landing on a cube causes it to change color, and changing every cube to the target color allows the player to progress to the next stage.
At the beginning, jumping on every cube is enough to advance. In later stages, each cube must be hit twice to reach the target color. Other times, cubes change color every time Qbert lands on them, instead of remaining on the target color once they reach it. Both elements are then combined in subsequent stages. Jumping off the pyramid results in the character’s death.
- Coily – first appears as a purple egg that bounces to the bottom of the pyramid and then transforms into a snake that chases after Qbert. Often considered the main antagonist and Qberts’ arch-nemesis.
- Ugg and Wrongway – two purple creatures that hop along the sides of the cubes in an Escheresque manner. Starting at either the bottom left of bottom right corner, they keep moving toward the top right or top left side of the pyramid respectively and fall off the pyramid when they reach the end.
- Slick and Sam – two green creatures that descend down the pyramid and revert cubes whose color has already been changed.
A collision with purple enemies is fatal to the character, whereas the green enemies are removed from the board upon contact.
Colored balls: occasionally appear at the second row of cubes and bounce downward
- contact with a red ball is lethal to Qbert
- contact with a green one immobilizes the on-screen enemies for a limited time
Multicolored Flying Discs:
- serve as an escape from danger
- when Qbert jumps on a disc, it transports him to the top of the pyramid.
- if Coily is in close pursuit, he will jump after Qbert and fall to his death. Bonus points are awarded. All enemies and balls on the screen will disappear momentarily.
Points Awarded for Each Color Change:
- defeating Coily with a flying disc (500)
- remaining discs at the end of a stage (at higher stages, 50 or 100)
- catcing green balls (100)
- Slick and Sam (300)
- completing a screen
- starting at 1,000 for the first screen of Level 1 and increasing by 250 for each subsequent completion
- up to 5,000 after Level 4
- granted for reaching certain scores, which are set by the machine operator