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I'm always excited when I have a new puzzle game from SmartGames. It's because I know for sure I'll have lots of fun with a new concept I haven't tried before - something really difficult to achieve for a games designer when you already have a vast catalog of different ideas.
IQ Steps, not surprisingly, is yet another superb addition to the SmartGames' catalog and the IQ series, designed by Raf Peeters. This series is a collection of six compact travel games, each bringing you a different type of challenge, but equally demanding. The IQ Steps, nevertheless, is actually one of the most challenging of the IQ series yet. Is it a bad thing? Not in the least, the tougher the better...
(Click to Enlarge) - Challenge 10 (Start and solved state)
The IQ Steps is, so far, the only one that requires the pieces to be placed in a correct sequence, not randomly fitted in the game board. This, in addition to the unusual shape of the pieces, makes the game very difficult to solve, even on the easier challenges. In fact, even when you're setting up a challenge it's difficult to figure out the correct sequence for the pieces, and that is in itself a challenge, before the real one even begins. At first, you only need to place one or two remaining pieces to the set up, but getting there requires some patience. On the harder levels, you not only need to place most of the pieces and figure out where to place them, but also finding their correct sequence.
Comprised by eight distinct pieces in bright vivid colors, each one occupying two layers with five or six rings joined together in different arrangements, the pieces overlap each other in the game board, which is why they need to be placed sequentially. It's a very entertaining game, like discovering the sequence of a secret code.
(Click to Enlarge) - Challenge 33 (Start and solved state)
With 120 challenges to solve, distributed by five difficulty levels, you have more puzzles to play with than the average logic game - a very welcome addition. To play any challenge the right way you have to respect some basic rules: Since the pieces have to be placed in a sequence, you need to place them one at a time; You can't lift any piece that has already been placed on the game board; Two layers is the maximum height permitted and any piece that stacks on top of another in more than two layers is not allowed. Like many other games, IQ Steps has only one possible solution for any given challenge.
|(Click to Enlarge) - The IQ Puzzles I Currently Own|
IQ Steps is one of my favorites from the IQ series. I guess I say that a lot when it comes to SmartGames, but it's true. Every new game I try adds a different idea and a new way to interact with puzzle pieces. Their games challenge you in ways you weren't expecting, and for that I can't wait to play with the next puzzle from SmartGames.
Availability: SmartGames' puzzles and games are widely available on any decent puzzle stores. Amazon and PuzzleMaster are just two great examples where you can get what you're looking for.
SmartGames Official Website
A couple more challenges:
A couple more challenges:
(Click to Enlarge) - Challenge 68 (Start and solved state)
(Click to Enlarge) - Challenge 117 (Start and solved state)