Game Cover
©Konami 1990
Release: 1990-04-13 (¥4900)
Cartdridge KDS-H7

Quarth is an unique puzzle/shooter game by Konami and conversion of the arcade game of the same name originally released in 1989. A weird and destructive phenomenon has turned gravity on its head throughout the galaxy, and planets as well as asteroids and stars have been transformed into deadly blocks. They are now heading towards Earth and a group of scientists prepares to launch Quarth, a pod-shaped ship especially designed to counter the threat. The goal of the game is fairly simple - blocks of various shapes descend towards the Quarth located at the bottom of the screen, and the small ship must shoot small square pieces and attach them to the moving blocks in order to fill them. Once a block is filled (or its boundaries closed), the screen stops moving and the large block slowly disappears and leaves space to more blocks to clear up. Connected blocks can also be filled at the same time and trigger chain reactions for extra points. The game doesn't feature power-ups per se, but colored blocks occasionally appear and released various special abilities (symbolized by a letter) when cleared, such as bonus points (B), screen freeze (S), double score (C) or a powerful erase bomb (E) that wipes out everything on screen at once. Quarth features nine different levels (an option gives the player the opportunity to choose which level to start from) and three two-player modes (the alternating Change Play, the cooperative Tag Match and the competitive Vs Play).
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Quath - arcade The original arcade game Quarth was released in Japan in 1989 (picture on the right). It was curiously renamed Block Hole in the west and heavily edited. The unique Victorian/Jules Vernes style from the original Japanese game was replaced by a more traditional futuristic design, and the game automatically started with a two-player split screen layout rather than the original single player mode. It seems that the Famicom version tested here (and all the conversions thereafter) featured an hybrid of the two versions - the futuristic Quarth spaceship is available for the player to use, and the game features several two-player modes. Quarth was also ported to the MSX2(1990), Sharp X68000 (1990), NEC PC-98 (1990) and Game Boy (1990). It was also later included in Konami GB Collection Vol. 4 for the Game Boy (1998) and Konami GB Collection Vol. 2 for the Game Boy Color (2000). It was also part of the Japanese Oretachi Gēsen Zoku series released for the Playstation 2 (2006). Interestingly, the original Quarth ship has made a couple of cameos in multiple Konami games - for instance, it is a hidden ship in Airforce Delta Strike (Playstation 2), and it inspired Dark Force's ship in Otomedius X (Xbox 360).


Quarth manual
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Add your Pov here !

Quarth is considered a cult game by many (especially in Japan), but it has always been a bit of an oddball to me... no doubt that Quarth is one of the most original and imaginative of the Tetris clones out there, and Konami cleverly managed to mash two seemingly unrelated genres together into a cohesive game. However, although Quarth has its share of fun and addictive moments, especially in the beginning, I feel that it quickly runs out of steam and loses its original appeal. Once you have learned the basic gameplay mechanics and the various block patterns, then the game loses its thrill. The two-player mode does alleviate some of this problem and adds some life to the game, but even so, it didn't hold my interest for long... All in all, Quarth is an intriguing game concept idea that actually works, but I wish Konami had pushed it a little bit further.

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