Qbert's Qubes - Christopher Tupa

Retro Arcade Art By CTupa: Q*bert’s Qubes (1983)

Friends, I know you know that wonderful video game icon Q*bert. Do you happen to know of the sequel to the hit 1982 arcade game though? That is certainly why Christoper Tupa has selected Q*bert’s Qubes for this week’s Retro Arcade Art project. While including some of the same elements from the 1982 title. 1983’s Q*bert’s Qubes brings a whole new level of gameplay!
Q*bert's Qubes - Marquee

Released by Mylstar in 1983, the company was previously known as Gottlieb, it in fact was inspired by the Rubik’s Cube. It has been said that Warren Davis, the designer of the original Q*bert , had proposed a sequel to Gottlieb. Of interest is that the sequel in fact went through more than a couple of name changes during development. The team suggested everything from a simple Q*bert 2 to 2*bert and even Qubes. Before they group decided that Q*bert’s Qubes was the way to go.

While the Rubik’s Cube definitely inspired the game. It’s gameplay totally features elements of tic-tac-toe. The player must help Q*bert match the target cube which is displayed in the top right corner of the screen. Each time our orange-colored hero hops in a desired direction, the cube beneath his oversized feet will rotate. If the rotation results in the cube matching the target colors it will turn green.
Q*bert's Qubes - Target Color

However, just like in the original game, Q*bert will have to be wary of foes as he is hopping around the 25 cube formation. Gone are the likes of Coily as well as Ugg and Wrongway. Now the Player must contend with the likes of Rat-A-Tat-Tat. Thankfully in Q*bert’s Qubes if one of these pests lands on a cube that is rotating they will fall to their demise.
Q*bert's Qubes - Rat A Tat Tat

There are also the Meltniks who appear in the game in a variety of colors. Along with a holdover from the first game, the purple ball. Each of these foes will happily hop down the stack of cubes to the bottom. Of course if they make contact with Q*bert the Player will lose one of their lives.
Q*bert's Qubes - Purple Ball

Now I should mention that the colors of the Meltniks are important. Because it actually involves the way a Player is able to defeat them. In Q*bert’s Qubes when the Meltniks land on a cube, whose color matches their own, they dissolve!
Q*bert's Qubes - melting

Beyond that, there are now green turtles that can show up in a stage. These are for bonus points and it is quite safe for Q*bert to crush them under his feet. Which is just a horrible, horrible thing to do, right?
Q*bert's Qubes - Turtle

Furthermore, while getting a tic-tac-toe in the early stages isn’t too difficult. That all goes out the window in later stages when you have to line up two or more to clear a level!
Q*bert's Qubes - tic tac toe

Ready to see Q*Bert’s Qubes in action?

[Via] Old Classic Retro Gaming

As always with CTupa’s Retro Arcade Art project, you can purchase the artwork featured in this post. The originals are ink and watercolor and are 5″x7″ on 8.5″x11″ size paper. You can hop on over to Christopher’s Official Site to contact him as well as check out more artwork from his project!

I hope you won’t forget to check out CTupa’s previous entries in his Retro Arcade Art project as well!

Kangaroo - Christopher Tupa

Retro Arcade Art By CTupa: Kangaroo (1982)

Kangaroo is the pick this week for Christopher Tupa’s Retro Arcade Art project. Much like with Dig Dug this is another classic arcade game that many of you will remember. Developed as well as published by Sun Electronics in 1982. It was in fact distributed by none other than the legendary Atari. And when you get down to it, Kangaroo shares some slightly similar aspects to 1981’s Donkey Kong.

I have to say that as a protagonist. A mother Kangaroo wearing boxing gloves might seem like an odd choice. That is of course until you read the description of the game. Your little joey has been abducted by some rather nasty acting monkeys. So it’s up to you to get your baby back…by throwing a few good jabs.

As a ten-year-old I can certainly say I felt up to the task. Although my first experiences with it were at the fabled Showbiz Pizza of my youth. It was well past the point it was in the “showcase” row. It had been placed down in the lower level of the arcade alongside Donkey Kong Jr. and Popeye. However I really took a shine to the gameplay.

Kangaroo is a platformer. You have to jump, climb, and hop up a variety of stages in your attempt to rescue your joey. All the while you must contend with those monkeys. Who enjoy nothing more than rearing back and hurling apple cores at you. Thankfully the Player can duck the edible projectile or hop over it if tossed across the ground. Of course you can also punch the apple cores too for some bonus points but your timing better be pretty good.
Kangaroo - Stage 1

Besides the thrown apples, a monkey will move back and forth across the tops of the four stages. His job is to try and drop apple cores down upon your head. I’ve always found this occurs generally when you are making a jump or scurrying up a ladder. Also there is a pink Gorilla that will occasionally appear. His goal is to steal the boxing gloves from our hero. No boxing Gloves means no ability to punch monkeys or thrown fruit.
Kangaroo - Stage 2

Kangaroo - Stage 3

Stage 3 is one of my favorites. You have to knock out a row of monkeys holding joey in a cage!

Fun fact. I have never actually made it to the fourth stage.

Now how about you take just a couple of minutes and watch Kangaroo in action?

[Via] Mame Player

Kangaroo may not have been as popular as the likes Donkey Kong or Pac-Man but it did well enough to receive home versions. Ports were made available to the Atari 8-Bit computers as well as the Atari 2600 and 5200. Most fans prefer the 5200 which I will admit I’ve not had the pleasure of playing before. However if you happen to feel like reading what I thought of the 2600 port back in 2010 – just click here.

Now remember that with CTupa’s Retro Arcade Art project, you can purchase the artwork featured in this post. The originals are ink and watercolor and are 5″x7″ on 8.5″x11″ size paper. You can hop on over to Christopher’s official site to contact him as well as check out more artwork from his project!

At the very least, Kangaroo was popular enough to warrant a spot on CBS’ Saturday Supercade!

[Via] Kiddo Cabbusses

Remember to check out CTupa’s past entries for the Retro Arcade Art Project!
(Bomb Jack)
(Devil Fish)
(Dig Dug)

Q*bert – Your best new videogame buy for 1983!


For no good reason at all, I decided to type Q*bert into Google Images today. The image above jumped out at me, not because of the pretty cool silhouette but because of the “just announced Q*bert TV series coming this fall…”.

I don’t recall seeing Q*bert on TV so a visit to Youtube was in order. Moments later and I’m confronted with CBS’s Saturday Supercade and YES, a small section of that was in fact Q*bert!


Thanks to this find, I’m certain to be posting something about Saturday Supercade in the near future. Until then, let’s see Who’s Who and What’s What in Q*bert Land, shall we.