Together Retro Game Club: Quak

Together

Presented by Fastbilly & Racketboy
New To Together Retro? Check out the introduction to the club

Ok folks, this is going to be an interesting one.  What we have this month is a title called Qwak.  It is a lesser known puzzle platformer that feels like a combination of Lode Runner and Bubble Bobble.  This title was a suggestion by forum regular Noiseredux and to be honest I had never heard of it beforehand, and I was pleasantly surprised.  So hopefully this is a new one on some of yall.

quak-screens

History

Qwak began its life in the liar of Team17.  The very same Team17 that gave us Alien Breed and Worms.  It was programmed fully by Jamie Woodhouse for the BBC Micro home computer in the late 1980s. Woodhouse stated in a recent interview that the BBC Micro “was a good machine to learn programming on.  It had a built-in assembler, which could be integrated with chunks of Basic.  No hardware support for things like sprites or scrolling, all of which had to be done in software, but direct manipulation of video RAM.”

Qwak was first released by Superior Software and had a small revival in 1988 on the Play it Again Sam 10 compilation.  It was not until the early 90s when Woodhouse would approach the duck platformer again.  In 1993 Qwak was revamped and released on the Amiga.  The title had changed to a very arcadey style, to a point that even Woodhouse has admitted it is a different game from the original.  Despite this, it was a hardsell to get published.  After dozens of publishers turning him down, Team17 finally showed interest in the title.  And within months the world had this cult classic in their hands.

Legacy

Qwak is a bit of an odd duck.  It is a very hard arcade style game that constantly makes you think you can do better with just one more try that hits the same niche that Bubble Bobble does, but with a harder difficulty curve, and to top it all off, it is coop.  What is
more fun than an arcade platformer with a friend?  Qwak may have fallen into “cult classic” standing over the years, but it is a solid
game from a forgotten time.  And come on, who doesn’t want to play a duck that shoots eggs at big fish?

Controls

(even though we focus on consoles here, the PC/MAC version is the definitive one and the most easily obtainable, so these are the
controls of the PC/MAC version)

  • Movement – Left and Right arrows
  • Fire Eggs – Up
  • Jump – Left Ctrl
  • Menu – Escape

All controls are remappable, but to use a controller you will have to use a program like X-Padder, Joy2Key or PPjoy.

Ports

  • BBC Micro – 1989
  • Amiga – 1993
  • GBA (limited run) – 2006
  • PC/MAC – 2008

Purchasing Help

Ok so the GBA copy is sold out and rarely shows up on Ebay.  The Amiga copy is hit or miss as well.  So the PC/Mac version is the best way to go.  It is easy to purchase aswell.  Go here: http://www.qwak.co.uk/
Follow the prompts
And send him £12.99 through paypal (that’s about $20 USD or CAD)
Get your download link  – Enjoy

Emulation Help

Together Retro Discussion

Instead of posting in the comments section of the blog, we will be using the forum for all of our discussion in order to keep things more organized. So play Qwak and talk to us about your thoughts and play experiences in the forums. We want to know your
favorite parts, your successes and your failures

6 Comments

  1. Jamie says:

    Plus, there’s an iPhone version in development! 😉

  2. Ziggy says:

    I think the emulation help link is broken.

  3. BDD says:

    Funny… there were two arcade games called Qwak. One was a duck shooter that was released by Atari back in 1975; the other was also an Atari game programmed by Mark Cerny in the early 80s, but was never released. Mark’s team prototyped a touchscreen interface for the game, but it never got very far. They ended up going with joystick/button controls, but the game was cancelled anyway. The latter is in MAME.

    More info about the latter Qwak at http://www.atarigames.com

  4. Patrick says:

    In the Liar of Team 17 eh?

  5. fastbilly1 says:

    Your right Patrick, we apparently put up the old version of the page. Thats a flub on my part. Sorry.

  6. Beckie says:

    Blimey, I loved this game as a kid- just downloaded it on my iphone, been looking for it for ages. The music has just started playing, I feel 8 again! 🙂