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galagabug  avatar 10:24 AM on 01.06.2009  (server time)
the best games you've never played: Intelligent Qube

The best games don't always have to have epic stories, gigantic explosions, and glorious HD graphics. Sometimes the best games are the ones that are easy to pick up, quick to learn, and difficult to master. Puzzlers have always been one of my favorite genres, especially when time is a factor, and this game does it better than most. When i purchased my first PSX, i threw all my money down on the console, and was left to twiddle with the demo disc packaged with the console for longer than i wanted to, fortunately, there were some serious winners on the disc, and IQ stood above the rest.

Premise is simple, there is a grid. A bunch of blocks start at one end and start rolling toward the other. These blocks can be captured by marking a square on the grid, and then deselecting it at the appropriate time. There are some special cubes thrown into the mix, like forbidden (black) cubes, which are not to be captured, as well as green cubes, which when trapped, will capture all cubes surrounding the spot on the grid which it occupied. the kicker is, that all green cubes must be initiated at the same time. sounds simple, but like all the best games, the difficulty really ramps up.

there are other subtleties, like rewarding a player with a perfect round (all grey and green cubes captured, while allowing forbidden cubes to pass) will increase the length of the grid by one row. you are allowed to miss a certain number of cubes, but when that allotment has been exceeded, the last row of the grid will begin to fall off. the game ends when the player falls off the grid. at the end of each round you are given a numeric score which is than translated to an IQ.

the game is great. as you get familiar, rather than just capture the cubes, you try to grab them all in as few manuvers as possible. perfect rounds are incredibly rewarding. this game is due for a revival, the psp's library is scarce, and this is one of those titles that screams portability. i guess not too many copies were produced, b/c its currently fetching around $80 on ebay. the perfect game to make your legs fall asleep on the toilet.

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