Q*bert is an arcade video game developed and published by Gottlieb in 1982. It is a 2D action game with puzzle elements that uses “isometric” graphics to create a pseudo-3D effect, and serves as a precursor to the isometric platformer genre. The objective is to change the color of every cube in a pyramid by making the on-screen character hop on top of the cube while avoiding obstacles and enemies. Players use a joystick to control the character.
Several video game sequels were released over the years, but did not reach the same level of success as the original. The first, titled Q*bert’s Qubes, shows a copyright for 1983 on its title screen, whereas the instruction manual cites a 1984 copyright. It was manufactured by Mylstar Electronics, and uses the same hardware as the original. The game features Q*bert, but introduces new enemies: Meltniks, Soobops, and Rat-A-Tat-Tat. The player navigates the protagonist around a plane of cubes while avoiding enemies. Jumping on a cube causes it to rotate, changing the color of the visible sides of the cube. The goal is to match a line of cubes to a target sample; later levels require multiple rows to match. Despite the popularity of the franchise, the game’s release was hardly noticed. Parker Brothers showcased home versions of Q*bert’s Qubes at the Winter Consumer Electronics Show in January 1985