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SmartGames is fast turning into one of the best companies that produce the ever so popular multiple-challenge games. Also present in the virtual world (PCs, Tablets and Smartphones) just as much as their games in the physical form, it's no wonder they're taking the games' market by storm. I'm a sucker for these logic games and I own many of them in my collection. My latest addition is the new IQ Link, designed by Raf Peeters, who's responsible for most of the SmartGames' creations.
What captured my attention right away were the colors and shapes of the pieces, which are quite unique in this type of games. The colors are vibrant and have this transparency that absorbs light from all angles and gives them an extra shiny look. The pieces consist of three parts and each one features a different combination of them: these parts can be a closed ring, an opened ring or a ball.
There are 12 pieces and a total of 36 parts, and all of them have to be packed inside a frame with space for only 24 parts. How will you do that? You have to find ways to link the pieces so that some of them will occupy the same space (like a ball linked to an opened ring). There are a total of 120 challenges - which is a lot compared to other games in the market - and they're divided in five different levels of difficulty, giving you a sense of progression as you work your way to the hardest level, Wizard.
The challenges start out very easy, with most of the pieces already placed inside the frame. All you have to do is find a way to link the remaining pieces in the few spaces left. As you progress into harder levels, the number of pieces already packed will slowly decrease until only a couple of them lie scattered in the frame. The last challenge (#120) only shows one piece in the frame.
Also worth noting is the fact that each challenge only has one possible solution. I found that most challenges until the end of the third level are fairly easy to solve, not taking you more than a couple of minutes. As you reach the last two levels, though, the challenges will get rather tough and some of them took me over 10 minutes to be solved. I haven't reached the last challenge yet, but it does look scary...
(Click to Enlarge) - Challenges 5-51-115 Solved
These games are described to develop logical thinking skills, strategic planning and visual and spatial perception. While they won't make you smarter, they'll certainly help to keep your brain healthy.
To my knowledge, there are three games in the IQ series by SmartGames: the IQ Fit, the IQ Twist and the IQ Link. By what you've read, it shouldn't be a surprise then, which one is my favorite. I strongly recommend these games to anyone, because the different levels of difficulty cater to any skill level. Raf Peeters is a genius and I look very much forward to find out what his next big game will look like.
|(Click to Enlarge) - Why can't a 6 or 7-year-old play IQ Link?|