Chew on this

I’m creeping closer, inch by inch, to that blessed day in which Game Boy World‘s written content catches up to its video projects. Today, that means a retrospective on Q Billion.


As I believe I mentioned in the video version of this, the tagline for this game really annoys me: “The game to chews!” it grins, a dopey look on its face. No, sorry Q Billion, I’m the one who makes dumb dad jokes around here. But, in fairness, I think Q Billion came by it naturally; in the course of researching the heritage of this game, I found a USENET post or something that featured a publicity photo of the Seta USA team circa 1990. It was basically a group of four marketing people, middle-aged white people with huge late ’80s hair, who looked exactly like the sort of people who would want to “rap” with the “kids” to show they were pretty “hep” by telling terrible groaners while giving, say, a short introductory speech at a church potluck.

I guess what I’m saying is that Q Billion represents a different time in video games. A time before we knew the word “extreme” could have its initial E excised. A time when marketing to kids was basically indistinguishable from being an embarrassing parent hovering over your son as his friends come to visit and hang out. Q Billion is the kind of game that would “accidentally” walk unannounced into its daughter’s room when her first boyfriend came over for an innocent, giggly visit to tell weird shaggy-dog joke stories and hover around, solicitously, for just a little too long for comfort.

Anyway, Q Billion‘s not great, but I love that it hails from a time with video games were ridiculously unhip and that was OK.

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