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Quadroids Review

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A mind-bending Lemmings. That’s probably the best way to sum up Quadroids. A completely unique puzzle platformer, would be another. Maybe we should even go with how the developer is selling it – as a game designed to ‘rip your neocortex to shreds’. Yeah, perhaps not that last one. We’re not that crazy. 

Whatever, you probably owe it to yourself to at least give this one a try. You may not like everything about it, and you’ll need to put up with some quirks, but there’s very little like Blue Loop’s Quadroids. We’re not sure there will ever be much like it going forward either. 

Quadroids review 1
The four-screened madness of Quadroids

Quadroids sets itself up as an epic, humourous space journey. It is one that focuses on a quest for space conquering, as the titular, brainless Quadroids are guided by Roboctopus, a being of supreme intelligence intent on taking over the galaxy. But that tale fast fades into insignificance as the puzzling stages introduce themselves. With a simple tutorial level followed by a good hundred or so others, you can be sure that you’ll very rarely worry too much about the narrative being told, left instead to try and keep your mind in one piece, taking on the tests that await. 

At its best, Quadroids is a simple puzzler. Split across four screens – hence the name – it’s up to you to help your ever-wandering, ever-walking little Quadroids reach an end goal. So far, so Lemmings. The difference being that in order to find success, just one little Quadroid needs to make an escape. The rest? Expendable. 

Yep, the catch in Quadroids is that in order for success to happen, you’ll be left to manoeuvre your little guys over, around and through the traps and obstacles present in each ‘quad’. And you’ll only be able to do that by making them jump. 

It’s here where Quadroids really shines, with the triggers and bumpers actioning those jumps. For instance, if you have a Quadroid in the top right quadrant of your screen, RB will make the leap. If you’ve got a couple in the top left, a simple press of LB actions that jump, with any and all Quadroids in each segment affected by your button pressing capabilities. The bottom two sections of the screen are trigger enabled, with Quadroids wandering from one screen to the next with gay abandon. Keeping a track on their movements, and the jump button that needs to be focused on, is the key here. 

We’ve found the control scheme to work brilliantly. It’s super intuitive to use, and once you get your head around the switch from one screen and button to the next, as the Quadroids make their merry way around, will find it fairly simple to use. 

Quadroids review 2
Keep away from the spikes? Or use them to your advantage?

So where’s the difficulty? Well, that comes in the traps and obstacles. See, some levels will let you concentrate on one single Quadroid, but others – read: most – will only be completable by making the most of many little guys. Some will need to be sacrificed to the spike gods, enabling a safe passage for others. More still will be burnt alive, opening doors, or turned into blocks of ice, utilising their solid selves as a much needed platform. Acid pools exist too. Of course they do… 

Only by timing things right will success ever be found in Quadroids, with tactics and strategies becoming more viable as ‘try it and see what happens’ moments play out in your head. Quadroids excels there.

With various planets to visit, new gameplay elements are introduced. For instance, those ice blocks come about in the cold depths of one such place, whilst underwater features switch up jumping distances and certain machines allow for control of various platforms and blockers. It’s all about making the most of the environmental mechanics at play in order to see what you can do with them.

Find success and further levels open up. You’ll discover medals being dished out for completing a stage, doing so within a par time (trickier) and also for getting a little Quadroid to their goal within a certain number of orders given out. As you’d suspect, full completion of each level will only come about through sheer determination and multiple replays of stages. 

Similarly, the bonus stages will only then become unlocked too. These sit behind the collection of various Quarks; hidden away in standard stages. With a certain number unlocking the extra levels and some 75 on offer, if you’re looking to 100% the delightful Quadroids, you’re going to have to be prepared to take in multiple attempts at the same level. When latter levels require eyes everywhere, that is far from easy. 

Quadroids review 4
You may be content with a simple level completion

Another push to help you on your way is found in some global leaderboard chasing; a huge part of Quadroids. Depending on your needs to have gaming bragging rights over others, this is a game that could well provide weeks and months of gameplay. 

It’s good that it looks decent enough. There are some definite pixel vibes going on here, but at all times the stages, the various elements and overall look are on point. The transitions from one quad to another are seamless as well. And it’s all accompanied by a neat little soundtrack too – music and gameplay effects may be minimal, but they just work. 

All in and Quadroids is a lovely little puzzle platformer, especially as you can also play with local mates if you prefer to ease the pain. But it does come a bit of a cropper in a couple of areas. 

For one, there are a few glitches that annoy. For instance, those leaderboards that allow for bragging rights are pretty dodgy. I’ve completed a number of levels for a time of 00:00:00 to be shown to the world. I’m not going to turn down a top spot on any global leaderboard, but when it’s due to a glitch, perhaps a clean sweep needs to be had. 

And there have also been a couple of moments of bigger concern. Leaving the game for a period of time – to take a break from the mind-twisting for example – has seen jump buttons refuse to work, requiring full game resets. Perhaps that is down to the joys of Quick Resume on Xbox Series X|S? And those resets have themselves tried to push out corrupted save files, again only fixed by closing Quadroids in its entirety, crossing fingers that hours of play haven’t been lost. 

Quadroids review 3
Quadroids – an uber unique puzzler

But there are also concerns over the game itself as a ‘fun’ puzzler. It didn’t take us long to give up on the collection of Quarks on various levels, and very rarely have we actually felt the need to retry a stage run for a better time. In fact, the sheer relief provided upon single level completions, as a feeling of luck hits instead of that of skill, has meant we’ve walked away from Quadroids happy in the knowledge that we’ve just about beaten a stage, never wanting to return. 

Combined, it means that whilst Quadroids can be huge fun, and is very unique, we’re not sure it has the legs to be a game that many will go back to time and time again. Yes, the sheer amount of content and level numbers will keep you going for a decent while, but you may just find that once you’ve battled your way through the four-screened puzzle hell of Quadroids, you’ll be content to leave it be, safe in the knowledge that you’ve just taken in an uber unique little puzzler.

SUMMARY

Pros:
  • Extremely unique puzzler with Lemmings vibes
  • Simple control scheme
  • Plenty of levels
Cons:
  • Some glitches and bugs upon loading
  • Will you really want to replay some levels?
Info:
  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, TXH
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One
  • Release date and price - 22 February 2024 | £9.99
Neil Watton
Neil Wattonhttps://www.thexboxhub.com/
An Xbox gamer since 2002, I bought the big black box just to play Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee. I have since loved every second of the 360's life and am now just as obsessed with the Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S - mostly with the brilliant indie scene that has come to the fore. Gamertag is neil363, feel free to add me to your list.
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<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>Extremely unique puzzler with Lemmings vibes</li> <li>Simple control scheme</li> <li>Plenty of levels</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>Some glitches and bugs upon loading</li> <li>Will you really want to replay some levels?</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, TXH</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One <li>Release date and price - 22 February 2024 | £9.99</li> </ul>Quadroids Review
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