Platforms: Apple II, Commodore 64, IBM PC/Compatibles


Main Genre:

Overview and Gameplay

IBM PC version of J-Bird
IBM PC version of J-Bird
J-Bird is a clone of the game Q*bert released by Orion Software in 1983. Like in Q*Bert, the goal of the game is to change all of the cubes in a pyramid to the target color by having J-Bird hop on them. Players begin the game with a limited number of lives; if J-Bird jumps off the sides of the pyramid or is caught by any of the hazards on the pyramid, a life is lost. The hazards the player needs to avoid are magic globes, black cats, and the snake (King-Bo). King-Bo hatches from one of the magic globes when it reaches the bottom of the screen; it will then continously chase the player. The only defense against King-Bo is to lure it off the edge of the pyramid; on the sides of the pyrmaid are several pairs of wings — if the player jumps off of the pyramid onto the wings, J-Bird will safely fly to the top and if King-Bo is in pursuit will fall off the pyramid.

Each time all of the cubes have been changed to the target color the player advances to the next, more difficult round. After four rounds are completed, the next level begins. Each level features a different challenge to reach the target color. In the first level, a single hop on a cube changes the color. On the second level, two hops are required for each cube to reach the desired color. On later levels, hopping on a cube after the target color is reached will revert the color back to the start again.


As in Q*Bert, anything that is green is safe to touch while everything else will cost J-Bird a life. The characters in the game are:
  • J-Bird: The player's character. J-Bird can hop diagonally in any direction from cube to cube.
  • Time Sphere: A green sphere that bounces randomly from the top of the screen towards the bottom. If J-Bird catches the sphere, all opponents on the screen are momentarily frozen and harmless.
  • Hob and Nob: Hob and Nob are frogs that jump from the top of the screen towards the bottom. They change the color of any cube they land on back to the original color. They are harmless to J-Bird, and if caught will disappear from the screen.
  • King-Bo: A snake that hatches from a large Magic Globe. King-Bo will constantly chase J-Bird unless lured off the edge of the pyramid by jumping on a pair of wings.
  • Magic Globe: Spheres that bounce randomly from the top of the screen towards the bottom. J-Bird will lose a life if hit by one.
  • Black Cat: Black Cats appear at the bottom of the screen and jump in random directions around the pyramid. They need to be avoided by J-Bird.


Platform: Apple II
By: Daryl Rotta
Platform: Commodore 64
By: Frank Lindsey
Platform: IBM PC/Compatibles
By: Greg Kuperberg

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