Intelligent Qube

Sony's latest is a very puzzling affair

Publisher: Sony
Developer: Sony
Genre: Puzzle

The objective is simple, if not odd. Each level takes the form of a rectangular platform down which slowly roll a bunch of cubes, the majority of which are gray, but some are black and some are green. The player controls a small character who is on a mission to destroy all the cubes (apart from the black ones) before they fall off the end of the playfield.

Cubes are destroyed by highlighting an area of the playfield. Gray ones just blow up, but if a green cube is destroyed, it causes a kind of chain reaction that destroys all cubes connected to it - a 3x3 area of any-colored cubes, essentially. Extra points are awarded if the player manages to destroy all the cubes within a target number of rolls, which requires quick thinking and reactions.

Although this doesn't exactly sound like a bundle of laughs, it's actually really fun. Once you get the hang of the controls and objective -- one quick session is enough to do that -- the game gets very addictive. The difficulty level is nicely balanced so that it starts out straightforward, but before long it gets really hard, and both your reflexes and logic are given a good, solid workout.

So Intelligent Qube is a fun game - there?s a lot in it gameplay-wise, there's some bonus FMV sequences and multiple characters, but here?s the rub. Despite the fact that it's a great game and it?s highly enjoyable, few will find the graphics and sound attractive. And with its $40 price tag, when a few dollars more buys you killer games like G-Police and Colony Wars, I know where my cash is going.

Personally I'd wait for it to go into the sale bin - at $20, Intelligent Qube would be a must-have. As it stands, only hardened puzzle fans who cherish quality gameplay over graphics will feel they?re getting their money?s worth.