Review: I.Q. Intelligent Qube

Puzzle or logic games were always in short supply on consoles, original ones even less, but on PS1 Intelligent Qube or “Kurushi” as it was known in Europe, hits all the right places.

Developed by G-Artists and published by Sony Computer Entertainment, Intelligent Qube is definitely a unique and original game. The game is simple, the player is put up against cubes, and must clear them by marking a place on the ground and activate the marker when cube rolls on it, and avoid “forbidden cubes”. The player can also use “advantage cubes”, which can clear up to nine cubes. If a forbidden cube is cleared the player will use the last row of cubes behind him. In case you run out of space or is “rolled over” by the cubes the game will end.

The game consists of 9 stages (eight plus the final stage). The player has infinite continues, but players score will be reset. At the beginning of each stage, the player will be against the stage that has about 23-30 rows. Then 12-16 rows will be raised. Anywhere between 1 or 4 set of rows will come at the player.
At the beginning of the game, 3 rows of length 4 cubes(12 cubes) will come at the player. When the player clears the blocks in the set, new ones will rise and this will happen 3 times, for a total amount of 4 blocks rising per level.

The cubes come in different varieties:

  • Normal cubes, they are the same color as the stage cubes you move around on and should be cleared.
  • Advantage cubes, marked in green will provide significant help to the player. When you clear one of the advantage cubes, the tile will turn green and activating it the player can clear up to nine cubes at max. Cleverly using these cubes is key to solving the stage, but the player must make sure not to clear forbidden cubes.
  • Forbidden cubes, are displayed in black and must be avoided. If you clear one of these cubes he will lose a row of the stage, and a perfect score isn’t possible.

Clearing all cubes, normal and advantage while avoiding forbidden ones will land the player a perfect bonus, announced by an awesome “Perfect!” by an announcer, and you will gain a row of cubes to the end of the stage. This will increase the chances of survival.

However, there are also additional penalties to the player. If you let normal or advantage cubes fall off the stage, the number of fallen cubes will be calculated on the block scale (i.e. the counter will be increased by 1). Each time the number of fallen cubes exceed the that on the block scale, you will lose a row of the stage and reducing the number of rows the cubes have to go to fall off the stage.
You can also be flattened by cubes rolling over them, and all cubes will be calculated on the block scale and can make the player lose several rows of the stage. Then you will face the same set of cubes again, announced once again awesomely by the announcer with a powerful “Again!”, except if the cubes are part of the last wave.

When you finish a game either by falling off stage or by completing the game a total score is displayed and I.Q. will be calculated (a play on the intelligent quotient) and is representing your skill at clearing the cubes on a scale from 0 to 999, although this is simply a percentage score. Beating the game, the player will unlock new player models (the default one is Eliot), Cynthia and Spike the dog. Also beating the game once will unlock the “Original Game” where you can create your own puzzles, but the score will not be calculated.

The music in the game is fantastic, orchestral score rather than the usual puzzle game scores. It will both keep you on edge and push him to achieve more. It was also released by Sony Music under the title “IQ Final Perfect Music File” on January 21, 1999

The game was designed by Masahiko Sato, a professor of Tokyo University Of Arts. The game was a critical and financial success in Japan has sold 500,000 copies by June 1997, and nearly 750,000 by the end of 1997. Intelligent Qube also won an Excellence Award for Interactive Art at the 1997 Japan Media Arts Festival.

The game also spawned a number of sequels: I.Q. Final (Kurushi Final: Mental Blocks in Europe) for PS1, and I.Q. Remix+: Intelligent Qube for PS2.
In 2006 I.Q. Mania was released for PSP, which contains puzzles from all three previously released games, but unfortunately, it was released only in Japan.

If you are looking for an original and unique puzzle and logic games, give this one a try, you will definitely not be disappointed.

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