Platforms: Amiga, Apple II, Apple IIgs, Arcade, Atari 5200, Atari 8-bit, Commodore 128, Commodore 64, Fujitsu FM-7, Game Boy, IBM PC/Compatibles, NES / Famicom

Also Known As


Main Genre:
Visual Presentation:
Fixed / Flip Screen


Arcade version of Qix
Arcade version of Qix
Qix (pronounced Kicks) is an action/strategy game by Taito America Corporation first released in arcades in 1981; It was later ported to numerous game consoles and home computers. In the game the Qix is a computer virus of unknown origin; the goal is to immunize the system from the infection by capturing a percentage of computer memory (aka the playfield) above the amount designated.


The object of the game is to wall off the designated percentage of the initially empty playfield. Within the empty parts of the playfield is the Qix which roams about randomly. The player controls a diamond shaped marker which travels along the edges of the playfield that has already been captured. By drawing lines into the empty parts of the playfield and creating a closed shape an additional section of the playfield is captured (the side not occupied by the Qix is filled in). The player loses a life if the Qix touches an incomplete line or the marker comes in contact with any of the other opponents. As the game progresses a higher percentage of the playfield needs to be captured to complete the level and opponents become quicker and more difficult to avoid.

Qix Characters

In addition to the marker (controlled by the player) there are several types of enemies. The marker has no defenses so all opponents need to be avoided.
  • The Qix: Consists of multi-colored lines and wanders empty sections of the playfield randomly. If the QIX touches an incomplete line the marker is drawing a life is lost. On some levels there are two Qix; If the player is able to draw a line successfully splitting the QIX then the level is complete and a score multiplier is increased.
  • Sparx: Sparx circle continuously along the border of the empty sections of the playfield (initially there are two, one travelling clockwise the other counterclockwise). Above the playfield is the Sparx timer (a red line that slowly dissappears). Each time the timer runs out two new Sparx are added.
  • Super Sparx: Similar to Sparx, however they are capable of following the marker onto lines as it is drawing instead of being restricted to the borders.
  • Spritz: Spritz float within empty sections of the playfield; they can safely pass through incomplete lines, but a life will be lost if the marker touches them.
  • Fuse: When drawing lines the marker needs to be continuosly moviing; if the player stops drawing a line before completing a closed shape, the fuse appears at the beginning of the line and makes its way towards the marker. A life is lost if the fuse reaches the marker.


Points are earned each time a section of the playfield is captured. The marker is capable of drawing either fast or slow; a section that is captured entirely at the slow speed is worth twice as many points as one captured entirely or partially at the fast speed. The amount of points scored is based on how large the section captured is. When a level is completed 1000 points are earned for each percentage captured above the designated threshold. If a spritz is captured within a filled section of the playfield 500 points are earned and all fast fills earn slow points until the player loses a life. An extra life is awarded every 50,000 points.


Platform: Atari 5200
Programmed by: Eric Manghise
Cover artwork by: Hiro Kimura, Gjalt Van Der Wyk
Platform: NES / Famicom
Sound Programming: Peter Gosztola (uncredited)


Click on a picture below to view a larger version.
Arcade Version


QIX Instruction Manual
Atari 5200
QIX Instruction Manual
IBM PC/Compatibles


Product catalogs, magazines, flyers, or other documentation Qix has appeared in.
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Arcade Flyers
Qix arcade flyer - Front
Qix arcade flyer - Back
Qix arcade flyer - Inside Left
Qix arcade flyer - Inside Right
Magazine Advertisements
May 1990 magazine ad
Product Catalogs
Taito Spring/Summer 1990 product catalog

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Packaging/Label Styles

This game has releases with the following standardized packaging styles:

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