Written by  :  Servo (57406)
Written on  :  Mar 05, 2004
Platform  :  Commodore 64
Rating  :  4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars

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An excellent conversion with somewhat troublesome controls

The Good

Q*Bert has always been one of my favourite arcade games, and the commodore 64 version is an excellent conversion. Graphically the game looks excellent; characters and the pyramid are nicely detailed, and the animation and color are pretty close to the arcade version. Although the synthesized "voices" of the original are missing, sound effects are excellent. All of the various levels match the original about as closely as one could hope. This game has aged extremely well, and is as fun to play now as it was back when it was new!

The Bad

The controls; due to the four directional digital joysticks typically used on the C64, you control Q*Bert by pushing up/down/left/right. Since Q*Bert jumps diagonally around the pyramid, pushing down moves Q*Bert down and left, pushing right moves down and right, etc. Getting used to this odd arrangement was aggravating, but possible. I've also tried holding the joystick rotated 45 degrees so I can push it diagonally, but this was difficult to do with the joysticks I had (as they weren't designed to be held in such a manner!). I'm guessing this odd control scheme was used since registering diagonal movement on the 4 directional joystick didn't work well enough, so overall there probably isn't a great solution to imitating the arcades diagonal controls (which was just a joystick rotated 45 degrees actually.) I also missed the synthesized "voices" the characters made in the arcade version; This is hardly an issue as sound effects are otherwise great and gameplay isn't affected, though I think the C64 could have been capable of a decent rendition.

The Bottom Line

Overall a very faithful port of the arcade game that is a lot of fun to play. The controls take some getting used to, but once you do this is probably one of the best home versions around.