The Secrets of ColecoVision Games

ColecoVision Q*Bert's Qubes

Vital Statistics

Original Manufacturer: Mylstar Electronics, Inc.
Arcade Release Date: 1984
Related Arcade Games: Q*Bert (Released by D. Gottlieb. and Co.)
Manufacturer: Parker Bros.
Game Serial Number: 9950 (A9950 Foreign Releases)
Home Release Date: 1984
Guide No.: ??
Rarity (Based on CV FAQ): Rare (downgraded from Extremely Rare)
Size: 16k

Game Background

Q*Bert returns in a sequel to match wits against multi-color critters, a wiley "Coily" mouse, and Sam and Slick on a pyramid of "qubes" (cubes). Instead of matching colors with the example at the top of the board for every qube, your goal is to complete "tic-tac-toes" of them. Alas, you will need to make more of them as the game progress, however.

With the video game crash of 1984, Q*Bert's sequel was not widely distributed in the arcades or home video game systems. Only two home systems ended up with Qubes: the Atari 2600 and the ColecoVision. It is widely debated on which is the rarer port, but the ColecoVision port is said to be the closest to the actual arcade game.

According to the ColecoVision FAQ by Joe Huber, there was a Q*Bert's Qubes arcade machine in Hershey Park in Hershey, Pennsylvania in 1994. Whether or not it's still there is a mystery, but there are other "classic" arcade games there.

Q*Bert has been owned by many different companies over the years. The original arcade game was produced by D. Gottlieb and Co. in late 1982 or during 1983. Around 1983, he was apparently sold to Mylstar Electronics, Inc., who produced Q*Bert's Qubes in 1984. The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) port was produced by Ultra Games from permission of Konami Games and a license from JVW Electronics; however, its copyright says (C) 1983 Mylstar Electronics. When Q*Bert III was released for the Super Nintendo, the new copyright owner was Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. (the game was produced by NTVIC/VAP Games under a license from JVW Electronics).

Now we have tracked down who owns Q*Bert now, please write to Columbia Pictures and tell them to use the new video game platforms, such as the Nintendo 64, for a cool looking Q*Bert IV (hopefully a sequel to Qubes)!


Q*Bert II Gameplay

As Q*Bert moves, he turns six-sided qubes around. To win a round, you need to match up "tic-tac-toes" of qubes. You will complete four rounds and a bonus round for each level. Like any other Q*Bert game, the green ball will freeze all the action, and you will die if you fall off the pyramid of qubes. Beware, there are some "green" critters that are deadly to the touch. The other critters are just as dangerous, but any critter will disappear into a qube if their color matches the top of a qube.

The spring-tailed mouse fall down as a purple ball (like Coily the Snake) and will begin to chase you around the pyramid of qubes. With no flying discs in sight, you need to time it right for him to land on a turning qube. This will make him fall of the pyramid and out of your life.

Like in the original arcade hit, Sam and Slick are back to reverse your progress by changing your finished qubes. Unlike other ports of Q*Bert games of the same time, this one actually features both in the game. However, they have been turned into a thin body of eyeballs/shades and big shoes, not the wild hair individuals pictured on the box. As always, catch them before they cause too much mischief and score a few points while you're at it.

Levels of Difficulty

Bonus Round
If you complete a level, you will get to play a bonus round. See below for more details.

Level One
Two sides orange, four sides blue.
Win one tic-tac-toe.

Level Two
Three sides orange, three sides blue (first two screens).
Six colors (white, red, blue, orange, yellow, green; second two screens).
Win one tic-tac-toe.

Level Three
Six colors (white, red, blue, orange, yellow, and green).
Win a pair of tic-tac-toes.

Level Four
Six colors (white, red, blue, orange, yellow, and green).
Win three tic-tac-toes.

Level Five
Six colors (white, red, blue, orange, yellow, and green).
Win one tic-tac-toe but you can undo qubes.

To be continued.....

Tricks, Tips, and Easter Eggs

Pause the action. The "0" (zero) button forces the game into pause mode.

Warp to level two. At the difficulty selection screen, press the "#" (pound) button, and the game will begin on level two.

Earn bonus points. At the end of every level, you will get to play the bonus level. The qube colors are determined by your current level. The first qube completed is 100 points, and after each one is completed, the value is raised by 100 points (100 for the first, 200 for the second, 300 for the third, etc). The real trick to this round is that Q*Bert doesn't move the qube, but your controller spins the qube underneath him. You only have a limited amount of time to complete the pyramid (it is unknown if the counter can be increased as a bonus from other boards or not). You will finish the bonus round immediately if you fall off the pyramid.

Make a mess on any level. At the beginning of a level while the qubes are being prepared for action, press all four Super Action Controller buttons. This will not only cause big "prong" marks to come down from the top of the board, but the game will slow down. It will also cause some qubes not to appear on the screen (don't worry, they are still there) and leave old graphics on the screen.

Did you know? Along with Mr. Do!'s Castle for ColecoVision, Parker Brothers decided to change the label format on the cart from the rest of their line of games. When inserted, the cart's name appears correctly to the game player's view. All other Parker Bros. carts will have their graphics and names upside-down when inserted.

The information contained here is for informational purposes only. All trademarks and copyrights of Coleco, CBS Electronics, Telegames, Nintendo, and any other mentioned companies are acknowledged here. ColecoVision Homepage and HTML Mark-Up (C) 1996 Norman G. Sippel. ColecoVision Game Spotlight Original Work (C) 1996 Norman G. Sippel. ColecoVision FAQ (C) 1994, 1995, 1996 Joe Huber and James Carter.