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Strange and wonderful.

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

To give the game its full title, this really was The Quest for Ultimate Dexterity, as you wrestled with your joystick to steer a ball around 10 fiendish environments against the clock.

Like a flat plane Marble Madness with a mean streak, Quedex was well worth its Sizzler status in Zzap 64, being not only an entirely original game, but as mad as a box of frogs.

Once again coded by Thalamus' enormously talented Finnish programmer Stavros Fasoulas (before he buggered off back home due to military commitments), the game was one of those instantly engaging games where you weren't given an explanation of what to do - nor did you need any. It was a proper pick up and play effort.

At first, it's all very perfunctory, jumping the ball down a chequered line, weaving in and out of posts, dropping through holes in the floor. Then the game amps up the challenge to the point of insanity, throwing you into a wraparound maze laden with keys and locked doors to open in sequence, or pitting you in a downhill race while trying to avoid electrified blocks, and other variations on a theme. But as maddening as it often was, you had to have one more go, and that was its genius in a nutshell.

Usefully, you could select from any given plane beforehand, making it possible to see the whole game without the need to play through it in sequence - if only other developers were considerate like this, we'd have probably seen a lot more of our favourite games.

Viewed from an overhead perspective, the game had a stylish minimalism about it, playing to the strengths of the 64 and its limited colour palette, rather than trying to overstretch with unnecessary detail. Partly because of this, and partly because it's a pretty unique game even two decades on, Quedex is still a pleasure to go back to now, and could quite easily be given a modern dust-off for Xbox Live Arcade.

Even without the rose-tinted specs on, Quedex (or Mindroll as it was known on the Amiga) is a true lost classic. Dust it down and enjoy.

8 / 10

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