Qbert is an old timeless arcade classic. It enjoyed it’s time back with other classics like Pac-Man, Space Invaders, and Donkey Kong. Even after over two decades the little orange guy is still a rather recognizable character, however, this is more as a pop culture symbolism of arcade classics. He made an appearance in movies such as Wreck-It Ralph and the more recent Pixels. These modern cameos seem to be what motivated Sony to dust off the IP and reboot Qbert for a new generation.
As with most arcade classics the premise is simple. Your objective is to change the color of every platform by stomping on it but the catch is you can only move diagonally. If you get hit by an enemy or fall off of the platform you lose a life. One of the unique characteristics that catapulted Qbert to fame back in the day was his indistinguishable swearing both in his synthesized voice as well as his speech bubbles. To be fair I’d shout some expletives if I died too. The further you progress in the game the more enemies you’ll encounter at any given time. Some enemies will chase you but you can use a colored disk at the bottom of the level to try and escape danger. You get two games in one here with the original arcade version along with the reimagined one.
In the original, the stages were built using 3D cubes but in the rebooted version later stages are constructed using hexagons, allowing for a wider variety of stage shapes which is neat. Another welcome addition is the lifting of the limited movement as Qbert can move diagonally, horizontally, and vertically. While this is a nice addition the controls aren’t particularly great and while you can use the d-pad the analogue stick is the way to go. The rebooted version also has new enemy types, some of which grant you points if you chase them off of the level. Another neat feature is the ability to unlock new costumes for Q*Bert with the gems you earn while playing. My two biggest complaints, other than the iffy controls, are the lack of cross-save support and that you’re forced to replay levels repeatedly to unlock each star in the rebooted version. Like _Angry Birds_ each level has a three star rating with objectives that must be completed to earn them, but unlike _Angry Birds_ you can only unlock one star per play through—even if you meet all the objectives in a single attempt. Other than that not much is new. Perhaps the biggest missed opportunity is the lack of cross-save which is odd considering the title is cross-buy between PS4, PS3, and PS Vita. It’s simply inexcusable for a game that wants you to replay each level so many times.
Unless you’re a hardcore QBert fan or love old school arcade games I don’ t think _QBert Rebooted_ will suit most people. The controls are too iffy and having to grind through levels to earn all three stars is unneeded fluff. In the end Q*Bert ends up starring in a mediocre title and he deserves more and is really only fun in small doses.