(Game Boy)

Quarth (Game Boy)

Game Review

Quarth Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Philip J Reed

Break it down

Originally released for the Game Boy in 1990, Konami's Quarth takes the presentation of a Space Invaders-type shooter, and instead gives us a puzzle game. As tempting as it might be to enter these stages with guns blazing, what Quarth actually requires is a healthy amount of foresight and on-the-fly problem solving. It's not without its faults, but it's a fun enough experience while it lasts.

You control one of six ships — the choice is yours — but it's really just a glorified cursor; the only difference between them is aesthetic. You're confined to the bottom of the screen, and you fire small blocks upward at approaching shapes. The blocks you fire adhere to those shapes, and when you form a square or rectangle, the shape disappears and you earn points depending upon its size.

It's actually an experience that's quite similar to Art Style: PiCTOBiTS, and fans of that game will be able to grasp Quarth that much more quickly. The main difference, of course, being that the blocks are launched from upward, rather than placed directly on the screen.

That's pretty much it. Quarth is pretty straightforward: your goal is always to clear as many shapes as possible, as quickly as possible. You can choose to play a level-based games or a randomised game, but the only differences are just as you'd expect: level-based games feature the same shapes every time, and randomised games are both unpredictable and endless.

If you clear large enough shapes, you earn power ups. These can speed up your shots, clear the board, or produce a random effect, so they're nice to have in reserve. It's not a very deep experience, but it doesn't aspire to be. It would have been nice to have some variation in the attributes of the ships, or even a substantially different additional mode of play, though, because the game gets dull pretty quickly.

Our main issues with the game are nothing surprising: the deactivated two player mode is the standard kick in the pants from the 3DS Virtual Console, and the fact that the cleared blocks can still end your game if they scroll down too far before they disappear is a pretty low blow, but overall what works most against Quarth is its own simplicity.

It doesn't have the universal addictiveness of Tetris or the ever-evolving urgent strategy of QIX, which makes it pretty tough to recommend. Those who do enjoy it will no doubt be glad to have it with them on the go, but unless you're absolutely dying for another puzzler on your 3DS, it wouldn't do you much harm to let this one fly past you.

Conclusion

Quarth has its share of issues to be sure, but it's certainly good for short bursts of puzzle-oriented fun. Repetitive gameplay and a missing two player mode hold this one back from being a solid recommendation, but for a time-killing Virtual Console title, you could do worse. Its simplicity is either its biggest problem or its main selling point, and that's something you may have to decide for yourself.

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User Comments (22)

RaylaxStaff

#1

Raylax said:

For the comparison to PictoBits, I might just give it a try.

RupeeClock

#2

RupeeClock said:

I remember playing the color version of Quarth on Konami GB Collection Volume 2, I think they had 4 volumes with various Game Boy titles remastered in color.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konami_GB_Collection

Actually looking at these collections now, I see that they have opted to release both the original versions of Quarth and Castlevania: The Adventure on 3DS Virtual Console, instead of these GB Collection value packs, hmm.

Rawk_Hawk

#3

Rawk_Hawk said:

Another game, along with Tetris and Radar Mission, that really misses not having the 2 player mode. I could see this being really hectic with 2 players

MikeDanger

#4

MikeDanger said:

I called 6 when I clicked on the review news at the facebook page, I guess I have to drink to that

accc

#7

accc said:

Seems like a fair review. I bought it after watching the trailer because it reminded me of Pictobits, but I also found the game to be a bit shallow compared to what I was expecting.

ouroborous

#8

ouroborous said:

marginally interesting i guess, its a small twist on your average tetris/columns kind of game, i might play it some but its not the kind of game that really inspires any dire-hard effort to excel.
why is nintendo releasing so many b-side games for GB/GBC on eShop?
i mean i guess it's kind of cool to hear about games you never heard of from back in the day but come on, we need more of the classics.
just move on to NES, SNES and GBA already. or hell, even give us some GEN since Sega's a defuct company that has sort of been swallowed by others.

ouroborous

#9

ouroborous said:

just port the wii VC games over to the 3DS already, it cannot possibly be that difficult. there are lots of great games on the wiiVC roster but i dont wanna have to play them on the wii. gimme some awesome 3DS action.
and has there even been another 3D classics NES game on 3DS since Kid Icarus? give us some more of those already.

RupeeClock

#11

RupeeClock said:

@TheDreamingHawk
And yet they release NES games on the 3DS, as both Virtual Console titles and remastered 3D Classics.

I really hope they broaden this and allow SNES and Genesis titles on the 3DS. The system is perfect for it, with the button layout and screen resolution.

RaylaxStaff

#13

Raylax said:

^Because scaling them up to the the 3DS's screen is bad enough, and morphing them onto a 30-inch TV will be downright awful?

iphys

#14

iphys said:

Kirby's Dream Collection has Game Boy games for the Wii. They used to let us play Game Boy games on the Cube and the SNES, so it's not like there's no precedent for it.

Blizzaga

#17

Blizzaga said:

"Glorified Cursor". Can't that be said for any and every shooting game that has the ship/person/object on the bottom of the screen?

idork99

#18

idork99 said:

I was about to purchase this game until you mentioned the similarity to Pictobits. Earlier today, I was not going to buy Quarth because I did not like Pictobits (got it free through Club Nintendo and forgot that I had it). But after playing Pictobits again, I will not buy Quarth because I like Pictobits. It's funny how you can not like a game at first play and completely fall in love with it the second time around.

Bass_X0

#19

Bass_X0 said:

why is nintendo releasing so many b-side games for GB/GBC on eShop?

Thats pretty simple, its because there are so many b-side games on the Game Boy. However you have to remember that Nintendo only releases Nintendo games. They did not ask or force Konami to release Quarth, they only accepted the game when Konami approached them to put it up on the eShop.

RupeeClock

#20

RupeeClock said:

@TheDreamingHawk
Ah hah, but there are!
Kirby's Dream Collection, it happened.

Very specific case, of course... besides you were missing the point, that they can and have released VC console titles on the 3DS.
I hope they do more than just NES in the future.

Philip_J_ReedStaff

#21

Philip_J_Reed said:

"Glorified Cursor". Can't that be said for any and every shooting game that has the ship/person/object on the bottom of the screen?

Not if they have distinct attributes, take contact damage, or affect the play area in any way other than point-and-click, no.

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