Freebie Feelers is a series where we download the free monthly console-specific or newly released free-to-play games to test their worth. This series will contain some useful information as well as plenty of personal opinion. While these articles may not be reviews, we hope that you will be able to use them to help decide whether that free download is worth it.
What is it?
It’s Q*Bert, but it’s been rebooted. If that still doesn’t make sense, then I should probably explain that this PlayStation Plus freebie is technically a 26 year-old game, albeit one that has been redone for the 21st century. Q*Bert was an isometric puzzle game that saw you playing as the titular character, with just one goal in life: to jump on some cubes in order to change their colour. I think we can all relate to that.
Obviously it’s not as easy as that, as if so it would be no fun. Along the way, you also have to avoid bouncing balls and springy snakes as well, all intent on killing our orange-hued friend. If you collide with one of them, then you will utter a made-up profanity, lose a life, and continue again. This version features the original game in the form it took within eighties arcades, as well as a swanky new version created for space year 2015.
What did you think?
The thing that stood out about Q*Bert back in the day was its presentation. It was bright and colourful, with an isometric viewpoint that was quite unique for the time. The presentation here is quite muted, with the graphics of the rebooted version being functional but nothing special. It looks like a mobile game, and with levels having stars to earn (three per level, naturally) alongside random collectibles to unlock characters as you play, it plays just like one now too.
I find it quite a shame that a game with such a great heritage gets such shoddy treatment. Fortunately however, there’s absolutely no need to play the rebooted version, as the original has been included as well. That’s much better, and as you’d expect nowadays, it’s a pretty much arcade-perfect conversion.
Is it worth downloading?
If you have the arcade conversion that was previously available on the PSN store then it’s probably not worth bothering. Same applies if you have a MAME cabinet, or any of the myriad of devices that can emulate the arcade. If you don’t have another way of playing it, or you specifically want to play it on an unhacked Vita, PS3 or PS4, then it’s a certain download and my favourite game in this April’s line-up. Q*Bert Classic is a great game, and you can just ignore the rebooted version and play that instead.