Manufacturer: Taito
Year: 1981
Personal hiscore - 73634

An obscure game this one, very obscure. Pronounced "kicks", it began its very own genre when released, inspiring many other similar games and hybrids. You control the Stix, a diamond shape which can move freely around the screen along lines which you draw, and along the outside edges. You can draw straight lines, and turn at right angles. When your line completes a box by contacting an existing box or the edge of the screen, the area you have drawn becomes filled in.

Your objective is to fill in 75% of the screen area and then you advance to the next screen. Sound simple? Heh. That would be just too easy.

Naturally, you have a few obstacles to contend with. The first is the Qix, a large mass of writhing vectors which occupies the centre area of the screen. It moves around, sometimes seemingly at random, and at other times with obviously deadly intent (when it homes in on you at high speed for example). Example pictured above in the right hand screengrab.

Your second adversaries are the Sparks, small bolts of electrical charge which move, around the outside edge of the screen and all boxes you draw. The Qix and Sparks also increase in number on later levels. Contact with either a Spark or the Qix loses a life.

You have two speeds at which you can draw; the slower speed scores twice the points, but naturally is more risky as you are out in the open area with the Qix for a longer time. The two speeds of drawing are denoted by different coloured boxes being drawn (red/blue).

You can't double back on a line you are drawing, or your fuse will ignite on the line you are currently drawing, and follow you to kill you.

Drawing at normal speed: 1x points x size of area filled in.
Drawing at slower speed: 2x points x size of area filled in.
End of level bonus: 1,000 points for each % over 75%.

Playing hints/tips

o Feeling brave? Try to draw a slow line straight up to the top edge of the screen from your starting point. Extremely risky, but rewarding both for yourself and your score if you pull it off!

o Draw small thin boxes to fill in your desired area of screen. Don't cut the screen in half yet, but try to force the Qix into a very small, thin area and seal it off. This way you'll hit well over 75% and gain a nice fat bonus. My best is 97%.

o When you are on a later level with two Qix to avoid, split them in seperate sections of the screen, and your multiplier will increase to x2. Next time you split two Qix, it will increase to x3, and so on.

o The Sparks are fairly easy to avoid: when they close in on your position, draw a box around their general area, and complete it when they have passed. Then they'll be on their way safely.

o If you take too long to complete a level, the Sparks will turn blue, allowing them to chase you on lines you are drawing as well as lines you have drawn.

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