The player controls a marker that can move around the edges of the rectangle. Holding down one of the draw buttons allows the marker to move into unclaimed territory and draw lines ("Stix") in an attempt to create a closed shape.
- 2 Player
The player's marker can move at two different speeds; areas drawn exclusively at the slower speed (orange-red on the screenshot shown) are worth double points. It cannot cross or backtrack along any Stix in progress.
A life is lost if the Qix touches any uncompleted Stix or if the marker is touched by any of the Sparx – enemies that traverse all playfield edges except uncompleted Stix. In addition, if the marker stops while drawing, a fuse will appear and burn along the uncompleted Stix toward the marker; if it reaches the marker, the player loses one life. The fuse disappears once the player moves the marker again. The player has no defences against the enemies and must out-manver them in order to survive