One of our most requested games of all time, Gottlieb’s Q*Bert has finally arrived at Pinball Land. Q*Bert is the perfect video arcade game being quite easy to learn, but challenging to master, and it doesn’t hurt that he’s super cute! Read on to learn more about this wonderful game.
How to Play Q*Bert
The game of Q*Bert is so simple it doesn’t even have any buttons. It features a single joystick used to hop our long-nosed hero Q*Bert from cube to cube, avoiding red balls and his foes Coily, Ugg and Wrong-Way.
The object of the game is to change all of the surfaces of all the cubes to the color shown on the screen. All you need to do in order to change the color is to hop on each cube by pressing the joystick in the appropriate direction. This is a task easier said than done!
Coming into contact with the red ball or any of the purple-hued characters (Coily, Ugg or Wrong-Way) spells instant doom for Q*Bert. You also must be careful that you don’t leap off the edge of the pyramid – there are no guard rails in Q*Bert’s world!
The green characters, Sam and Slick will annoy you by changing cubes back to their original color. You can chase them off, but be careful they don’t lead you into a dangerous position!
It’s a joy to practice this game, and before long you will have Q*Bert clearing rounds and setting high scores!
The particular Q*Bert machine at Pinball Land was found in the basement of a house found by a video game collecting realtor. It had not been plugged in for over twenty years when we purchased it and was completely covered in dirt!
Once the debris was cleaned off of the game, there was a pretty nice example underneath. The cabinet artwork was basically perfect. The control panel cleaned up fairly well. Though it has a few missing pieces and still retains some of the original patina from back in the day, we opted to keep it original rather than go with a reproduction. Any electronics that couldn’t be successfully rebuilt were replaced with modern, more reliable components. Q*Bert’s unique joystick was rebuilt as well and feels just terrific.
The restoration of our Q*Bert has been the most involved video game shop job that I have yet undertaken and through the process gained an immense appreciation for Gottlieb’s hit. There’s nothing like digging your hands into some engineering to figure out the rhyme to the reason.
Prior to owning the arcade machine, I only played Q*Bert on home consoles. Using a traditional cross-shaped directional pad, I never enjoyed it much. I always found the game frustrating and too hard to play accurately. Well, let me tell you, having the proper X-mounted joystick on the real arcade machine makes all the difference!
I now understand the praise the game has received over the years. It’s the kind of game where you know you can always do better. When you make a mistake and Q*Bert gets whacked and spouts off, you know it’s your fault and that you can do better next time. You’re upset for a moment, but then you want to hop right back on that pyramid and try again!
And that feeling right there is what playing arcade games is all about.