Good God this review took a long time.
Intelligent Qube, the game that measures your IQ, was one hard game to review (hey, that rhymes). After six grueling months of intense game playing (without breaks for food and sex, no less), I've come to the conclusion that it doesn't accurately predict your IQ. No, luckily for me, my IQ isn't '2'. Although it's not going to be used in any government studies any time soon, the game is decently fun even if the graphics look like they were made by a two year old on speed.
There is no creative story behind this game - in the vein of Tetris it's just pure puzzle. The point of Intelligent Qube is to destroy all of the gray and green blocks on the board, without destroying any black blocks. This may seem simplistic, but the problem is that these blocks are incessantly approaching you and threatening to knock you off of the platform you're standing on. If you accidentally destroy one of the black blocks, part of the platform breaks off. Once the platform is too short, you will either fall off or get crushed by the tumbling blocks.
Strategy is involved by using the green blocks, which destroy a large area of blocks on the board. These "super blocks" are advantageous, but also are dangerous because there is more of a chance of destroying the evil, menacing black blocks. This sounds fairly dumb, but then again so does Tetris when you explain it.
It is a fairly fun game, but Intelligent Qube has some faults that make a purchase of Tetris the better buy. First off, the graphics stink. You could make the argument that they stink in Tetris, but Tetris was meant to have shoddy graphics. Intelligent Qube attempted to bring in the 3D graphics processing ability of the Playstation to create an all new playing experience, but it ended up with just a bunch of cubes with a couple of different textures on them. The graphics for the player are even worse - an untextured mess of a 3D model represents you.
Animation is smooth, but with so little going on that's expected. "But it's a puzzle game," you say, "graphics don't matter!" If that's how you feel, you'll need to know that there are some serious problems in the gameplay as well. Although the early levels are a blast, the game becomes exponentially hard too quickly. As more and more blocks appear on the screen and as the playing field becomes wider and wider, the game becomes simply too hard.
Friends of mine who consider themselves puzzle experts are dumbfounded at how difficult this game is. It does deliver a good time in the beginning, but without serious practice you'll have a hard time even getting close to beating the later levels.
Two player mode - ah, the part of puzzle games that can make or break them. In the case of Super Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo, it made the game. In the case of Intelligent Qube, it does nothing. The two player mode presented in the game isn't even simultaneous, you play while your buddy waits and vice-versa. You race to see who can complete a certain number of levels first, whoever does, wins. Talk about boring! I'd rather see a split screen two player mode where when you destroyed a block on your side, a block dropped on your buddy's side.
Since there is no story, and single player mode becomes old fairly rapidly, the two player mode saves many puzzle games from entering into total obscurity. Unfortunately for Intelligent Qube, it just pushes it deeper and deeper into that niche.
Sound and music are negligible - it's in there, but it's a puzzle game, damn it, and it doesn't need that sort of thing.
Control is sharp and responsive, luckily, for one misstep in this game and you're a dead man. Intelligent Qube may be hard, but at least it's simple to control.
I keep comparing the game to Tetris because that seems to be what everyone else is comparing Intelligent Qube to. In terms of innovation, Tetris wins. In terms of fun, Tetris wins. In terms of a two player mode, many of the variants of Tetris win. The bottom line is that you can pick up a cheap copy of Tetris for the Super Nintendo, Gameboy, or even for your key chain for a whole lot cheaper than the full price CD that is Intelligent Qube.