Amiga Power


Author: Matt Bielby
Publisher: Arcade Masters
Machine: Amiga 500

Published in Amiga Power #8


Everyone seems to be updating ancient arcade classics at the moment - Domark's Super Space Invaders, Ocean with their updated Robotron, Smash TV - but few are as simple and as gorgeous-looking as Volfied, Empire's lush new version of Qix.

At this point, of course, I have to explain what Qix is (or was) - one of the very early arcade games from the likes of Atari or (more likely) Taito, I think. A series of single screen arcade puzzles, you controlled a little diamond pointer thing that 'lived' on the edges of a flat coloured screen. It was your task in life to zoom out into the middle of the screen as far as you dared, make a couple of nifty right angles, then dash back to the edge again, hopefully sectioning off a large area of the screen (which would then change colour). Once you'd got 75 percent of the area over to your 'side' you'd completed the screen and it was onto the next one.

Sounds easy, doesn't it? Well, it would be if not for the 'sparx', little sparkier things that also lived on the edges of the screen and killed you if they touched you, 'fuses', which looked similar, but zoomed down the lines you were drawing ig you proved too slow (and similarly killed you) and the 'Qix' itself, a funny snake affair which lived in the interior of the screen, moved about a lot, and (erm) killed you if it touched any of your uncompleted boxes.


And Volfied? Well, Volfied is more or less exactly the same game. The difference is in the graphics - rather than the flat colours and simple lines of Qix, this has state-of-the-art, directly-ported-over-from-the-coin-op visuals, and they're gorgeous. Instead of flat colours, the backgrounds are complex, intricate circuit boards; instead of a diamond shape you're an armed space ship; instead of sparx you have a vast swarm of little monsters who live in the interior of the screen, and instead of a few connecting lines the Qix is a multi-segmented space dragon thingy (or a giant ladybird, or a massive robo-hand, depending on the level).

Much of the credit for the quality of Volfied has to go to Taito, of course - it's their new graphics and their original idea that make the game after all - but Empire have done a more than credible conversion job. It's fast, it looks lovely - and fills the entire screen, rather impressively - and the half strategy/half pure reactions gameplay proves very satisfying in an abstract megalomaniacal sort of a way (taking over areas of a screen is more or less the same thrill as the one you get taking over countries, wargame style).

Like all games based on simple arcade originals, it can get a bit samey after a while, but what it does, it does almost perfectly. This is a game that's hard to criticize.

The Bottom Line

Arcade perfect conversion of Taito's updated Qix. Gameplay - despite complications - is simple as it comes, and like all the best simple games it works superbly. Could get repetitive in the long term.

Matt Bielby

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