Friday, September 6, 2013 09:15:25

Review: QbQbQb Is a Mash-Up Game That Tries To Do It All

qbqbqb

I found qbqbqb on one of Cory Roberts's excellent channels, Fun and beautiful games 5k+ and less installs, where Cory says:

Similar to some games where you rotate your circle to match the colors, but when you fail to match, the blocks start stacking! Also features single device multiplayer.

QbQbQb compares itself to Gyro (which I've recently reviewed), and I can see the resemblance. It's also quite different, however.

Concept and Gameplay

qbqbqb

Matching pieces!

Just like Gyro, QbQbQb's playing field is dominated by a central circle. Colored tiles flow in from all sides, and you need to rotate the circle so that the tiles land where they should land. There are several game modes: In one, you have to create stacks of three identical tiles (which then disappear). Another mode has you match sequences of three identically-colored pieces (not necessarily stack - just match). And finally, the hardest mode has you match pieces symmetrically: A red piece lands on one side of the circle, and when the next red piece comes along, you have to rotate the circle so that it lands exactly opposite of the first piece. Tricky.

The controls can be frustrating at times. Unlike Gyro, where the ball rotates smoothly in all directions, QbQbQb's central "planetoid" rotates in increments -- like it's on a ratchet. It makes sense (otherwise you wouldn't be able to align pieces properly), but it feels jagged at times. To rotate the planetoid, you have to swipe your finger up or down the screen. It can get confusing, but it's something you can get used to eventually.

Graphics and Sound

qbqbqb

Combo!

The soundtrack is really, really good. I don't usually gush over soundtracks, but QbQbQb is accompanied by an incredibly cute, chirpy piece of music. If you wait long enough at the intro screen, it even switches into Karioki mode, with silly lyrics that appear at the bottom of the screen. It's obvious that quite a bit of thought went into the sound on this one: It works.

The game is played on a dark starfield, and the planetoid and incoming bricks are colored in deep pastels. The circular aesthetic is consistent: The menu is circular, too (and a bit confusing at that). My only gripe with the game's graphics is that the central planetoid seemed a bit on the small side on my HD device, but that's pretty subjective. QbQbQb is well-produced, in terms of both sound and graphics.

A Game Gyro Fans Should Try

If you enjoy Gyro's unique mechanic, you should take QbQbQb for a spin. It's not exactly the same, and that's a good thing in my book.