Quick Fill Q Review
Posted by Philip J Reed
Holey-er than thou
Quick Fill Q is the story of a pink ball rolling across featureless terrain at a glacial pace. Every so often he — this ball is a living creature, for some reason — will come across a hole that looks suspiciously like several Tetris pieces were removed from the ground, and it's up to you to fill it.
That's the game, in its entirety, and that in itself isn't a bad thing. Pyoro, Kung-Fu Dragon and Airport Mania: First Flight are all made up of repetitive exercises by design, and they're all quite fun. But the execution of Quick Fill Q lets it down, and what should have been an enjoyable timewaster like the games listed above becomes, instead, a glacially-paced slog.
We'd discuss the gameplay more, but the above description covers it entirely. The game continues endlessly until Q — the ball is named Q; get it? — falls into too many pits, and there's no variation to speak of along the way. The game will remember your longest journeys and there are three levels of difficulty, but that about does it for variety. None of this would be a problem if the core game were fun. In this case, though, it's really quite dull.
Q rolls as though he's just been tossed down the lane by Mr. Burns, and though the game does pick up speed periodically — an event heralded by a surprising blast of on-screen text, proving that the game is as excited as we are that something's actually happening — it happens all too rarely, and the increase in speed is more or less negligible.
Filling the holes requires you to shape the stone block on the touch screen by chipping away at it. When it's complete you slot it into the road ahead and little Q rolls on, eventually, to the next one.
The controls, however, are problematic. Several times while positioning a block the game would lag behind our commands, and then make up for them all at once by forcing it rather abruptly in whatever direction we'd asked of it, several times, a few moments ago. This leads to improperly filled holes and a lost life for little Q, and is a common enough occurrence that it seems like a serious glitch.
The game also offers two control schemes, but they're both pretty inadequate. Using the buttons and D-Pad you'll find that it's simply impossible to move quickly enough for anything but the lowest difficulty; higher difficulty holes require multiple pieces to be fitted in, and with the buttons there's simply not enough time to move the cursor around, making adjustments bit by bit.
The touch controls fare better, but relying on the on-screen directional buttons is a fool's errand, and for some reason the game does not allow you to "draw" with your stylus to change the block; you need to tap everything piece by piece. For these reasons, you'll end up using an unsatisfying hybrid of the two control styles, needlessly complicating a game that should be rewarding in its simplicity.
There's also the problem of the hole-filling dynamic not making much logical sense. You'd think that you only need to bridge gaps for Q to roll over, but you also need to fill in any holes in the ground, even those that wouldn't affect Q's movement in the slightest, in order to succeed, and that's a pretty illogical game design choice.
The presentation of the game is decent, but nothing memorable. The title screen presents a cute, Kirby-like character, but in-game he's just a ball, rolling slowly across nondescript lands that feel like placeholder graphics for a much better game. The endlessly looping song would normally drive you crazy, but the fact is that you probably won't play this game long enough to notice.
Quick Fill Q should have been a great game for simple, quirky fun, but poor controls, lacklustre presentation and outright dull gameplay all conspire to hold it back from getting our recommendation. For its low price it may be worth a gamble for those on the fence, but we doubt that the number of people who would return to this game after one or two play sessions would fill even a small, uncomplicated hole.