Qix (pronounced “kicks”) is an arcade game released by Taito America Corporation in 1981.
The objective of Qix is to fence off, or “claim”, a supermajority of the playfield. At the start of each level, the playing field is a large, empty rectangle, containing the Qix — a sticklike entity that performs graceful but unpredictable motions within the confines of the rectangle.
The player controls a Stix that can move around the edges of the rectangle. Holding down one of the draw buttons allows the marker to move into unclaimed territory in an attempt to create a closed shape. If completed, the captured area (defined as the side opposite of where the Qix is) becomes filled in with a solid color and points are awarded. To complete a level, the player must claim 75% of the playfield (adjustable by the arcade operator to be between 50% and 90%).
Electronic Games in 1983 reported that the arcade version of Qix “grabbed the gaming world with its color and imaginative design. Almost immediately it rose to the top of the charts.” Its popularity quickly declined, however; Taito’s Keith Egging stated “Qix was conceptually too mystifying for gamers … It was impossible to master and once the novelty wore off, the game faded.” Computer Gaming World in 1989 called the computer version of Qix “a fascinating game. It is highly recommended to those who are at one with the universe … I do love and hate it so”