Qix © 1982 Atari, Incorporated.
The object of the game is to use your marker to partition off segments of the screen. While you are plotting these segments, you must avoid QIX, Sparx, Super Sparx, and the dreaded Fuse. To complete a screen, you must reach or exceed a threshold percentage of that screen.
QIX roams erratically around the interior of the screen. Sparx patrol the borders and the lines which you have drawn. If you hesitate or draw yourself into a corner, you'll get zapped by the Fuse, who also travels along the path you have drawn. If you run into any of these foes, you lose a life.
You use a diamond-shaped marker to draw lines which are called Stix. When you enclose a segment, these lines become your new bordering territory. You control the marker with your joystick and fire button by drawing fast or slow lines. An area claimed by fast draw is filled in blue; an area claimed with slow draw fills in brown. Note: Colors may vary on different television sets.
Strategy is a key element in this game. An important point to remember is that you cannot destroy QIX, but you can outsmart it. It is helpful to familiarize yourself with the elements of the game.
* NOVICE: This is an easy game for beginners. The QIX dances slowly around the screen without really chasing you. The Sparx, Fuse, and Time Line do not appear. The game threshold (percentage of territory claimed in order to clear the screen) is 50%.
* SKILLED: In this variation QIX moves at medium speed, but still lacks the intelligence to chase you. Sparx, Fuse, and a slow Time Line appear, but there are no Super Sparx. The game threshold is 65%.
* ADVANCED: This game variation is the same difficulty level as the original arcade version. The Sparx, Fuse, Super Sparx, and a medium-speed Time Line appear. The QIX is fast and somewhat intelligent. The game threshold is 75%.
* EXPERT: This is the game for all of you expert QIX players. The Sparx, Fuse, Super Sparx, and a fast Time Line all appear. The QIX is fast and intelligent. The game threshold is 85%.
* Strategy and patience are the keys to winning at QIX. A good rule of thumb: Use fast draw to set up a pattern; use slow draw to complete the pattern. Slow draw scores twice the point value as fast draw.
* Another theory: Never draw yourself into a corner. Always avoid drawing a spiral, or you'll wind up in a spiral deathtrap. You cannot go in reverse, so you will have to stop and wait for the fuse to zap you. See Figure 9 for an example of a spiral deathtrap.
* Carefully erect a trunk up the center of the screen. It may take six or seven moves.
* Draw as many branches as you can from the trunk of the tree and from the sides of the screen. Your primary aim is to leave small spaces that are big enough for QIX to enter, but small enough to seal off quickly.
* When QIX enters one of these spaces, move toward it and use a slow draw to seal off the space. Thus, you trap QIX and capture the majority of the screen.
* Use the fast draw to build two columns, one from the top, and one from the bottom. This splits the screen into three vertical rectangles.
* QIX can move into only one of these areas. Using slow draw, begin blocking off the area that QIX is not in.
* When only one rectangle remains, move toward QIX and block it into a small space.
* Use the same method of dividing the screen as in the Triple-Arena Strategy, but divide the screen into four parts.
TWIN QIX STRATEGY
* Start at the bottom of the screen, and build horizontal columns. Try to force both QIX to the top of the screen.
* Use the slow draw to claim the bottom portion of the screen as you continue up.
* After you capture about 1% less than the game threshold, split the QIX with a fast draw up the center of the screen. Thus, you split the two QIX and can claim most of the screen for a high score.