Qubit's Quest, with its adorable protagonist and multitude of different gameplay styles, is the best MARS Lightcon game currently available.
Qubit's Quest is an interesting take on the rail shooter genre, one which asks the player not to fight, but to defend, although said defense will still involve a heck of a lot of shooting. The titular Qubit, a robotic dog tasked with getting from one side of any given area to the other, will walk forward with fearless confidence even in the face of electric pits, exploding barrels, and hordes and hordes of murderous robots. Qubit is humanity's last hope for survival, and it's up to the player to make sure the dog gets where it is going safely.
The majority of Qubit's Quest is centered around this idea of protection. Although the game doesn't allow players to control the dog's walking movements, they do have the ability to make Qubit jump and double jump on command by using the MARS Lightcon's hammer button, which they will have to do on numerous occasions to make sure the poor animatronic creature doesn't fall into something dangerous or get hit by a flaming rolling log. The evil robots which serve as Qubit's Quest's villains want nothing more than to destroy the poor pup, and players can join together in local co-op utilizing multiple MARS Lightcons in order to protect Qubit together. In these situations, especially with so many particle effects, exploding robots, and gunshots flying through the air, it's best to have one player dedicated to jumping Qubit around obstacles and everyone else focused on taking out the enemies.
For some reason, Qubit's Quest makes the questionable design decision of making the lightgun reticle invisible in-game by default, making it impossible to know where exactly the MARS lightcon is pointing. This option can be changed in the in-game pause menu, and although the small colored cross-hair which turning this function on gives the player is better than nothing, the icon still disappears far too easily into the background during gameplay. This can make larger battles especially frustrating and leads to a lot of random shooting just so players can see where they are currently pointing at, something which exacerbates the feeling of strained-fingers even more after playing for excessive periods of time.
The gameplay offered in Qubit's Quest's adventure mode is surprisingly varied, but is nothing compared to the wide array of mini games found in the title's arcade mode. Here, players can choose from Qubit-themed games such as Floppy Dog, a version of the popular mobile game Flappy Bird, and Whistle Command, a Missile Command spin-off which sees players protecting dog houses from evil aliens and robot missiles. With ten different mini games to choose from and nearly all of them as enjoyable, if not more so, than their non-Qubit counterparts, these additions add hours of replay value. And yes, there is a Qubit-themed Duck Hunt mini game. How could there not be?
Part of the reason why Qubit's Quest succeeds so well is the character of Qubit itself. While the robot dog never speaks, the personality it expresses alongside the blind dedication with which Qubit advances through the game's world seemingly oblivious to the dangers surrounding it give off an air of cuteness and unintentional bravery, something the animators clearly plastered all over its silly little dog face. Everything about Qubit's Quest, from the game's story to its defensive mechanics, is designed in such a way as to be enjoyable for any age group, and with so many different forms of gameplay included this title is easily the best MARS lightcon game currently available.
Qubit's Quest is available now on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. A PS4 code was provided to Screen Rant for the purposes of this review.