Two out of three ain’t bad.

Hey.  Hey, you.  Do you like jazz music, mecha musume, and Taito’s 1981 arcade hit Qix?

Because if you are at the precise center of this extremely specific Venn diagram, boy do I have a game for you.

For the record, I’m not hugely fond of jazz, but the other two are right up my alley.

Bishoujo Battle Cyber Panic! publisher eastasiasoft has a heck of a lot of games for the Switch that can be summed up as “what if <x>, but with cute anime girls?”, and even a few “what if <x>, but with cute cross-dressing anime boys?” and while I wouldn’t think the market would be HUGE for “what if breakout, but with otokonoko”, they keep putting them out so someone must be buying them.

BBCP!, since I refuse to type out that entire name ever again, is, yeah, “what if Qix, but with cute anime girls” and if you’re looking for a rather fast-paced puzzler where success is rewarded by a gallery of girls-with-guns or girls-as-tanks, you don’t need to look much further.

Now, it has been the better part of four decades – excuse me while I crumble into dust – since I actually played a real Qix machine, but I remember it being one of those arcade machines where your defeat felt even more inevitable than usual.  While the titular enemy never seemed to take much interest in you, it had a marvelous ability to reverse course at just the right moment to steal one of your lives just before you’d completed a line.

The enemies in BBCP! behave very similarly, in that they mostly bounce randomly all over the screen and kill you when you get too greedy, though there are quite a few varieties and some seem more intent on chasing you than others.  In early levels, there aren’t very many to dodge…

…but when you get past about level 30 the opposing forces get a little ridiculous:

That’s five enemies that bounce around the screen and try to run into you, two that stay stationary and fire bullets at you, and two that follow you around the edge like the Sparks did in Qix.  And this is far from the worst level.

Fortunately, you can box in the enemies to clear them out, with an endorphin-triggering explosion of bonus points, and there are occasional powerups to gather to make the process easier.  Nonetheless, I did spend a lot of time huddled on a safe wall waiting for a tiny opening that would let me claim a few more pixels of the playfield in my quest to get 75%, unlock a new illustration, and then be faced with an even more challenging set of adversaries.

Right.  Illustrations.  Beyond a sense of satisfaction, every level you clear rewards you with a new picture of a cute anime girl, generally with a military theme to them.  Not sure why, not my place to ask, if this is what you’re in to then this is the game for you.

On the other hand, there’s one gallery page – so 10 illustrations, out of 50 – where the line between “fetish fuel” and “nightmare fuel” was crossed so long ago that it can only be seen as a fading memory in the rear-view mirror.

Again, if this is your thing then this is the game for you.  Just… well, I would say I have questions but I legitimately don’t want to know the answers.

One thing that killed me many, many times is that BBCP! does not have a button to press to engage “draw mode”.  If you’re at an edge and you press the thumbstick in the direction of empty space, you start drawing a line out into it.  This killed me a number of times when I accidentally took a tiny step out of safety, and it’s something that I would have greatly appreciated being able to toggle.

On the other hand, unlike some Qix clones, you can start drawing a line and then immediately back up, erasing the line and retreating back to safety.  So it’s got that going for it.

Overall, it was fun in the moment but pretty forgettable afterwards.  It does award you points based on your performance in a level, so if you really wanted to get into it then you could probably get a lot of hours out of chasing perfect clears.

This is one example of a perfect clear, and it gives you a little star for the level on the level select screen.  I’m not sure if there’s a reward for getting a star for every level, other than that all of your levels will have a star by them and I’m sure that’s enough for some people.

I didn’t see many perfect clears after about level 15, and by the time I hit the 40s I was grateful for any victory I could scrape out.  I wouldn’t describe the difficulty curve as steep, but it’s a gradual slope that definitely winds up getting some altitude at the end.

Looking at my Steam library, I seem to have a few other games in this series, and apparently I even played a similar Qix clone from the same publisher back in 2017.  I don’t remember it having creepy insect girls, though.  It’s possible I blocked them out?

Interestingly, the “but with boys” titles seem to be Switch-only.  Man, this system gets some weird stuff.

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4 Responses to Two out of three ain’t bad.

  1. Pete Davison says:

    If you were wondering (and you know you were) the art from this is drawn from a now-defunct mobile gacha game called Rick G. Earth. The nightmare fuel gallery page consists of the “baddies”.

    If you like the art for this, there’s also a mahjong solitaire game that uses the same characters.


    • baudattitude says:

      I was wondering how such a budget-priced game could afford so much original art, and I’m glad you stopped by to give me the missing piece! “Defunct gacha game” makes so much sense, and I guess it gives any nostalgic players a chance to spend some more time with their .png waifus.

      Also just in general it’s good to see a familiar name commenting! Hope you have been well.


      • Pete Davison says:

        Yeah, not bad!

        Incidentally, if you’ve come across it, the related Pretty Girls series (which is pretty extensive now) draws all its character artwork from publisher Zoo Corporation’s extensive back catalogue of erotic visual novels.

        Otoko Cross, which you alluded to, has all-original art created specifically for those games, though. And you’d be surprised how popular those games have been; Pretty Girls and Otoko Cross are among console porter/publisher eastasiasoft’s biggest sellers, helped at least partially by the fact that they’ve been catering to collectors with uncensored physical releases, too. Naked people on your Nintendo Switch! Who’d have thought it?


      • baudattitude says:

        Hey, “Femboy Breakout” may not be for me but I’m glad it exists for the people who want it. 🙂 And Nintendo becoming weirdly hands-off is a welcome change from their WiiU and earlier days.

        I played through a few of the Zoo Corp titles back when I was on night shifts and needed stuff to pass the time that wouldn’t tax a Surface 3 too hard. Good stuff! I think Purino Party was my favorite because it had a different take on the match 3 play style.


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