The screen flickers “Your marker controlled with joystick. To draw stix press fast or slow. Claim areas by joining walls with stix.” Or so the first three simple sentences of the original Qix attract mode boldly stated. It continues, “Scores based on area. Fast score 250. Slow score 500.” Ten words on how I am to be rated. Already a sense of urgency is mounting within. However there is more – a SURPRISE… “Claim more than 75% of playfield for special bonus.” What could it be? I must know. All that lies between me and the goal are the “Opponents: Qix, Sparx, Fuse, Spiral Death Trap.” These odd and abstract
antagonists move in such an uncanny manner. What methods do I need to apply to “Evade Qix” and “Dodge Sparx?” What do I need to do to become a coveted “Kicker” member?

The fall of 1981 and an eleven year-old boy‘s mind stumbles with many intriguing questions, including the obvious. How do I pronounce this crazy game, anyway [quix], [squix], [quicks], [kicks]? It is only three letters long and my fourth grade education is already failing me!

The true diction is not “QUIX” but “KICKS.” There are two stories that explain the possible origin of how the game was named. As with much lore, the tales should be taken with a grain of salt, and not argued amongst friends at classic gaming expos across the country.

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