aka: Cubert, Gottlieb's Q*bert, Q*bert for Game Boy, Snots and Boogers
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Description official descriptions

Q*bert is a popular arcade game. The goal is to change all of the tiles on a pyramid to the target color. To do this you guide Q*bert around the pyramid, and every tile he hops on will change color. On early levels, a single hop will change the tile to the desired color, but on later levels, you may need to hop on a tile multiple times or even avoid hopping on a tile multiple times! Trying to stop Q*bert are many different creatures wandering around the board, including Coily the snake, Slick and Sam, and falling balls. On the edge of the board are floating discs; if Q*bert jumps on one of these discs when the snake is in pursuit, the snake will fall off the board while Q*bert is safely transported to the top.


  • Qバート - Japanese spelling

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Credits (Arcade version)

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Designed by
Programmed by
Graphics by
Audio by
Cabinet illustration by



Average score: 74% (based on 28 ratings)


Average score: 3.3 out of 5 (based on 116 ratings with 3 reviews)

An excellent conversion with somewhat troublesome controls

The Good
QBert 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 QBert jumps diagonally around the pyramid, pushing down moves QBert 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.

Commodore 64 · by Servo (57056) · 2003

A faithful conversion of the arcade game, minus some good features

The Good
QBert is an addictive game created by Gottlieb in the Eighties in which the object is to jump around a pyramid, changing the blocks to a certain color while avoiding the many types of creatures that roam about. Now, as a kid growing up with a Commodore 64, I wasn't familiar with this game at all. The C-64 conversion was produced by Parker Brothers, a company that released classic arcade games such as Frogger, Gyruss, and Popeye on 8-bit formats. Some of these conversions are very good, and QBert is no exception.

Almost everything in the coin-op version made its way into the C-64 port. Well, I say “almost” because not all the features made the conversion, but I'll talk about those in a minute. First of all, after the boring title screen, you are treated with the first level intermission, and these occur every two or so levels. These intermissions are consistent with the original version, even Q*Bert jumping around the blocks looks neat.

The graphics are detailed, and there are smooth animations throughout. I like how Coily the Snake looks aggressive as he makes his way toward you, and also the flashing of the pyramid to let you know that the level is complete. The sound effects are faithful as well, and although they have been slowed down a bit, this was not a problem for me. I enjoyed listening to all the short, but memorable, melodies.

As with the original arcade machine, the controls take a little to get used to since it is not just like the other games of its time. When I first played this game, I was lost and trying to control QBert only resulted in me falling off the pyramid. But two or three games later, I finally got the hang of things.

The Bad
Three things are missing from the C-64 version. These include the colorful instructions seen in the coin-op, telling players enough detail on what they need to do, and the high-score table that can be used to “score-attack” the game. Also, the coin-op is famous for its garbled sampled speech, but this is sadly missed in this version.

The Bottom Line*
Despite some missing features, this is an excellent C-64 conversion. The graphics and sound effects are all here, as are the smooth animations. The control scheme takes little time to get used to. C-64 owners who are fans of the original coin-op should get this port.

Commodore 64 · by Katakis | カタキス (43051) · 2015

Beautiful little game...though I don't remember was it on Atari or DOS?

The Good
Well, the first thing that catches your eye is that odd little creature with 2 legs and an over-grown snout. Weird little creature back in the day, still its fascinating that they came up with that odd bloke as a main character...genius really.

I noticed when I played the game that the game had astounding graphics! Very colorful back then, which helped gameplay a great deal.

It was fun for a kid, trying to move the QBert on those cubes and cursing when you made a wrong move while trying to eluding the bad guys.

The Bad*

I swear I played this on the PC although not quite sure whether it was DOS or PC Booter. But then again, I also had an Atari back then, so I'm not 100% sure. Internet research didn't come up with much, although there seems to be a lot of people called Bert though...doh. Mobygames currently doesn't support the any PC platforms on this game, so that somewhat confuses me (and no, I'm sure it wasn't J-Bird...)

The Bottom Line
One of the best puzzle-action type games in the day. No wonder they made a remake.

Atari 2600 · by Indra was here (20633) · 2006


1001 Video Games

The Arcade version of Q*Bert appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Board game adaption

In 1983 a board game adaptation of Q*bert was released, challenging one player to activate as many pyramid tiles as die rolls permit while a second player directs the movements of his antagonists.

Cancelled versions

  • A Famicom version of Q*Bert was announced, but cancelled.
  • Six months after release, Davis developed a update called Faster Harder More Challenging Q*bert which ramped up the difficulty because he felt the original became too easy. It was not released because it was seen as too similar and too near to the first version. Sometime in the 1990s he released for free through the MAME emulator.

References to the game

  • Q*bert is referenced in the Futurama episode Anthology of Interest II. The episode consists of three shorts; one of which involves Fry asking the "what-if" machine "what if life was more like a video game." Q*bert is one of the aliens that invades Earth. He comes out of one of the Invaders.
  • Q*bert is referenced in a flashback in a Family Guy episode. Stewie first says that a certain incident was worse than being Q*bert's roommate, where it then cuts to Stewie laying in the middle of the pyramid asleep with Q*bert jumping down turning on the tiles. Stewie then wakes up and says "It's all night with the lights, listen if you're gonna keep this up I'm not splitting the electric bill".
  • A Q*bert arcade machine is seen in Ghostbusters: The Video Game on the second floor of the firehouse. Sadly, the game is not playable.

TV Cartoon

Q*Bert was popular enough to have a Saturday morning TV cartoon based on it in the early 1980's.

Information also contributed by Big John WV,gamewarrior,Marguerite Richardson, and Pseudo_Intellectual

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Related Sites +

  • History of Q*Bert
    Jeff Lee recalls the process of how Q*Bert came about.
  • Q*Bert Manual
    The manual for the Atari 5200 is reproduced here.
  • Q*bert
    A good article about the original Q*bert arcade game and its various system ports

Identifiers +


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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Servo.

TI-99/4A added by Corn Popper. Game Boy added by Kartanym. Dedicated handheld added by OmegaPC777. PlayStation 3 added by A.J. Maciejewski. BlackBerry added by Sciere. DOS added by jeff leyda. J2ME, SG-1000, Mophun added by Kabushi. Atari 8-bit added by ZZip. Arcade added by Pseudo_Intellectual. Odyssey 2 added by Psionic.

Additional contributors: Kartanym, Jeanne, Guy Chapman, Pseudo_Intellectual, Игги Друге, formercontrib, Patrick Bregger, FatherJack.

Game added April 11th, 2003. Last modified September 2nd, 2023.