Every piece of launch hardware has that simple and basic title. Something that caters to the nostalgia of days gone by. It might not be great, but it’s certainly not terrible. Knack would be a perfect example in this regard. Qubit’s Quest is that type of game for the Mars System. There’s some fun to be had and influences to smile at, but at the expense of technical problems and feelings of boredom. Although this is the most family-friendly of all three launch titles. So who the real audience for this type of experience really is worth taking into consideration.
Qubit’s Quest follows the titular Qubit, a mechanical dog, in a post-apocalyptic Earth. A military developed A.I. known as Kwantum gained sentience and essentially went with one of those take over the world plans. It created robots for whatever it couldn’t take over and ruled our planet through force. The human resistance groups have very little in the way of fighting back other than by repurposing old bots used for cleaning, companionship, etc. before things went south. Qubit’s job in all of this is to gather intel, deliver it back to the humans, and hopefully find something that can be used to eradicate Kwantum. This is all relayed through minimal, hand-drawn cutscenes and text.
Gameplay will be familiar to anyone who played the likes of Rescue Shot all those years ago. Qubit will move about the level independently and need you and up to three more players to stave off enemies or help nudge the robo-pup along. You and potential buddies will be tasked with shooting enemy robots and the projectiles they fire. To keep Qubit’s health bar from reaching zero of course. It’ll also need assistance jumping over gaps, objects, traps, and explosives. Stripped bare this is the entire basic mechanics of Qubit’s Quest. Everything around the pooch will need to be monitored and dealt with. Our little guy will follow the beat of his own drum for the most part.
Alongside the robots to shoot and the minimalist platforming there will also be tacked on gameplay mechanics. One entire level in Adventure mode is even dedicated to this. At times Qubit will be in a bubble or on something like a mine kart. Then they must be shot to direct our companion away from danger. There will be moments when shooting enemies and navigating areas will require a good deal of multitasking. That or teamwork if you’re playing with others. Then some levels will need you to shoot the ground so it becomes solid and Qubit can safely travel across. Additionally, a rare few instances throughout the story will require you to time shooting a green bone. These give our doggy hero the green light it’s ok to move forward even if it’s not.
Now there are different difficulties to go up against, but Qubit’s Quest’s story will be completed in an hour for most players. There are only five levels here after all. Luckily, the ten extra modes to try are halfway decent and will offer a more retro gameplay experience. You’ll have the likes and similarities of Duck Hunt, Brick Breaker, Asteroids, Shooting ranges, accurate target practice, those amusement park mine shooter rides, Centipede, Space Invaders, and even frickin Flappy Bird. As pleasing and nostalgic as these modes are incorporated, they won’t consume too much time. The only goal here is to reach a high score and all of them can be completed within half an hour.
Out of all three launch games for the MARS system, this one has the biggest technical problems. The majority of the time there’s no 1:1 tracking for Qubit’s Quest. There are noticeable delays if you readjust your gun a little too quickly and too often did the calibration just fail to line up with your actual aim. This is made worse by the fact that this title didn’t have a recalibration setting. That I could find easily anyway. You had to move the MARS System itself, disrupting the game, to get this to appear. Actually within the game fared better on the technical front. Only had Qubit get stuck once and it was to one of those shoots the floor to make it solid deals.
Being the one title most likely to be relegated to entertaining kids, Qubit’s Quest does succeed on that front. I was able to play with kids aged 3, 6, and 11, and even let them protect the robot doggy on their own. It goes without saying the eleven-year-old needed to communicate the instructions on the screen. For the most part, the three kids had a blast and enjoyed both the Adventure and extra modes. The only issues were the three year old not quite understanding how to aim and the three little ones arguing who was the better shooter. Although commanding Qubit to jump was something of a problematic issue at first. Still, Qubit’s Quest earns bonus points for being the only real kid-friendly launch title.
Qubit's Quest PS4/MARS Review
Overall - Good - 6/10
Qubit’s Quest will act like the basic, yet flawed title for the MARS system. It will entertain adults with nostalgia and familiar game mechanics while giving your young ones something to be proud of. It’s more of the prototypical launch game that can be fun but could be so much better. Especially when you can complete most everything in ninety minutes. If you don’t plan on buying everything the MARS system has to offer right now and don’t have kids, this probably shouldn’t be your launch experience of choice.
- Nostalgic game mechanics in the story and extra modes
- Only true kid-friendly MARS launch title
- Extremely short completion time for everything
- Basic gameplay and level design will be too simple for some
Reviewed using PS4 Pro.