Posted on by Gabriel | 4 comments
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(Click to Enlarge)
I believe this is the first review I write for SmartGames. As I've been saying in past reviews I love multi-challenge games, not just from ThinkFun, which might be the most popular, but from other brands as well. In fact, SmartGames has one of my absolute favorites, Oskar's Anti-Virus, which I'll be reviewing soon. Today, I will be talking about IQ-Twist, a very clever highly addictive puzzle game.

The IQ-Twist can be simply described as a 100 packing puzzles in 1. Since I'm a big fan of packing puzzles, you can imagine how cool I think this game is. It can't get any better than this. The game was invented by Raf Peeters, who is currently the lead designer for SmartGames, and released in 2010.

The game has a very interesting and practical design, perfect for your travels. The colors weren't chosen at random, as they represent the four colors of the SmartGame's logo. The pieces have this unusual twisting pattern, which gives the overall appearance a great visual effect. All eight pieces have different shapes and there are two for each color. Included with the game are seven pegs that will make your task a little bit harder.

The rules of the game are very simple. You choose one of the 100 challenges included in the booklet and place the colored pegs accordingly in the game board. Then, you need to figure out how to place the pieces on the board so that each peg has a piece of the same color over it. You will notice that each piece has only a few holes, so not all positions will be a possible fit. The pieces are double-sided, which means you can flip them and use whichever side you want.

There are five difficulty levels. Depending on your skills, you can start from whatever level you want. I took a different approach and did a few challenges from each of the five levels. That way, I could get a pretty good sense of the game's progression without going through all of them in one go. I plan to solve all 100 puzzles eventually, because I liked the experience very much.

Since the difficulty is relative to your packing skills, the time to solve each challenge will vary greatly. I was solving them within 5-7 minutes and the easiest ones in a couple of minutes. Note that excluding the double positions of symmetrical pieces, there is only one solution per challenge. Oddly enough, I found some theoretically harder challenges easier to solve and vice-versa. I think mostly it depends on which pieces you end up choosing to place first, and with a little luck you can solve it pretty fast. Others will take more time than you'd expect. That's how packing puzzles work...

If you go through all 100 challenges wanting more, then there's another cool thing you can do, which is to make your own challenges - To do this you'll want to make several different ones to avoid knowing the solutions, or attempt to solve them a few days after - Just find a way to place all the pieces on the boards without the pegs. When you're finished, place the pegs you want over the corresponding colors and make a note of their positions. After repeating this for several times, you now have a bunch of new challenges to play with.

(Click to Enlarge) - Custom Challenge

Closing Comments:

The IQ-Twist is a superb puzzle game. It's mainly a one-player game, but it can easily be played cooperatively with another player if you wish so. It might be fun. I personally loved it, not just for the amount of challenges, which by the way is way more than the current standard of 40 or 60, but also for the originality of the concept. It's quite simple to understand and can become addictive in a heartbeat.

Availability: You can find the IQ-Twist at Sloyd.fi for about €13.

Sample Challenges:

(Click to Enlarge) - Starter: Challenge 7

(Click to Enlarge) - Junior: Challenge 33

(Click to Enlarge) - Expert: Challenge 47

(Click to Enlarge) - Master: Challenge 60

(Click to Enlarge) - Wizard: Challenge 75


Lucie said...

Try also the new IQ Link puzzle by Smartgames, with 120 challenges, hours of fun !

Gabriel said...

Thanks for the suggestion, Lucie ;-)
It looks cool. I'll be sure to try it soon.

Kevin said...

I'm so terrible at packing puzzles - I have ceased to enjoy doing them! I think I'll have to pass on this one.

Incidentally how did you manage to do the show/hide button on a blogger post?

Gabriel said...

I think you'd like this one eventually. The different levels allow for a smooth progression.

Usually I use a different site to show the solutions, but since I was using several solutions, I thought it was more convenient to use that feature instead. I used this little HTML code (http://www.bloggersentral.com/2009/12/create-show-hide-or-peek-boo.html) and adapted it on my post. First you add the photo to your post, then go to HTML and add the featured code between the photo's.

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