Monday, January 9, 2012

Sqrxz

My girlfriend said "I used to play this game when I was a kid, Squiddx or something" some time ago. Since I'd never heard of it personally and she didn't get the game name right, I wasn't able to find anything about it. Today though, today is different. After plugging in an old hard drive and scouring files dating back to 1998, we spotted it, in all of its MS-DOS glory. "What the hell, give me that so I can review it!"
First look: It's a sidescroller. I'm some sort of bug lookin' thing, possibly an alien, and I'm on a go-right rampage. There's some blobs coming to get me so I jump on them in classic sidescrolling fashion, which works well and gives me a little more air than before. I can also press down while I move to crawl when precision becomes necessary. The graphics aren't that great, extremely pixelated and a little weird, I wonder if it's just a rendering glitch or if it was made that way? Come to think of it, I didn't have any sound either, so I went to do a little more research. Rather than fix the problem I decided to play the Windows version when my DOS version was acting up. I've uploaded the DOS version to the link below, because I couldn't find it anywhere else on the world wide internet.
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=N8ADOQRS <<< DOS version of Sqrzx
Gameplay: 5/10
Now that we have a well working version, its noticeable that I'm frustrated with this game. The controls are awkwardly stiff and require a certain precision that just isn't easy to comprehend. You die, a lot. The water levels are relentless. Was there something I was missing? After checking http://sqrxz.de for a while, I learned that this game was supposed to be intentionally frustrating. It is in my beliefs that this is a coverup for the game actually being pretty shitty and gives little to no insight on the challenges that lie ahead. I'm really on the fence about this, because on one hand, it's like a puzzle game requiring patience and accuracy, but on the other hand it's a horrible sidescroller with bad controls. -5 points for the stiffness.

Graphics: 4/10
Well, they certainly updated the game in the Windows version, everything runs smoother, it has more color, and better resolution. This doesn't do anything for the game as a whole, though, because it still is just a bunch of tiles spread around using a level generator or something. Seriously, with these kinds of games, you should release your level-making engine, just in case you want people to think the game is awesome and spend hours playing it. All of this just isn't appealing to me, I had to -6 points for the lack of variety.
Sound: 6/10
Some cute little Megaman sounding bumpin' tracks are going on and just about everything makes a noise. Be prepared to hear the dying sound a lot though. -4 points for the low quality sounds.

Overall: 5/10
The game isn't that bad to play until you get so mad you want to take whatever is to the left of your computer screen, take a big bite out of it, and swallow hard. It's cute and quirky but is just missing a lot of things that would come standard to a game like this. The challenge in this game lies within the games physics itself, and how patient/fast you can be. Alternatively, I played the Deluxe version of the game that is also included with the Windows port, and it seems much more up to date. You're a rabbit looking thing running around in the same style world but there's some key gameplay changes that almost make the game a new experience. It ain't bad, and it probably fits quite well into my "top 50 half-ass games of all time" list.
http://sqrxz.de

8 comments:

  1. I remember Sqrxz! Many hours were spent in the computer lab playing this.

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  2. I can't remember now if I played it or not...

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  3. Never played it, probs will look into it!

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  4. That alien thing looks pretty messed up. I wonder what his goal is besides surviving and how did he unfortunately end up in such a hellish world. lol

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  5. Haha yeah dude. What the hell's going on in this game

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  6. I remember Sqrxz! Many hours were spent in the computer lab makeing this.

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