The puzzle game is a genre that I tend to avoid, mostly because of the lack of a storyline. I enjoy racing and sports as genres, and while they don't have an explicit story (FIFA's The Journey being the exception, obviously), you can infer one from the events that take place - a racer must overcome his rival to take the gold, a team must score a certain number of goals in order to progress through a competition.
Puzzle games... not so much. The story here is that some little bloke (most likely a full-sized bloke who just happens to look little from this distance) finds himself suspended in an infinite black void and is tasked by choosing which of the coloured cubes that roll/stomp towards him will be saved, and which will be left to fall off the edge and tumble for eternity. Or something like that.
There's no story, really, but there is a task to accomplish, points to score and rules to learn, so let's get to it.
|Why is it a sphere?|
Intelligent Qube is simple. Move the character onto a square and press the X button to mark it. When a cube lands on that square, press the X button again to capture it. Capture all the grey cubes to score points, and avoid the black cubes at all costs.
If you are too slow you run the risk of falling into the void yourself, or else just having to retry the stage. Best to walk right up to those cubes and tell them who is in charge.
You'll also have green cubes to deal with, which, when captured, leave behind a kind of bomb effect that can be triggered by pressing the Triangle button, and will capture everything - good or bad - within its area of effect.
Time your bombs for when there are no black cubes, or chain them together to capture lots of green cubes to trigger lots more bombs and you'll be raking in the points and clearing the stages.
And then I got bored.
I must have played Intelligent Qube for ten minutes to decide that there was nothing here for me and that I was just wasting my time.
"But, but, it promotes, like, critical thinking and problem solving and stuff!" you might cry. Yeah, it probably does, but it's still boring. There's still nothing that grabs my attention and says that this is a must play.
"You've not seen it when it gets really tricky/quite puzzling/introduces new ideas (delete as applicable)" No, no I haven't. I couldn't even sit through a speedrun, I was that bored. Just what is the appeal here? Why is this a must play game? Do we have a genre quota to meet?
If you have nothing better to do and want to do something for ten minutes that'll spur you on towards actually getting something else started, then grab Intelligent Qube and get puzzle solving. I guarantee you'll think of something you want to be doing more, even if that something was a chore or an errand for someone you don't care about.
I jest. I don't know how you'll see this game. It might be just the kind of cube-based game you've been looking for all this time, in which case, enjoy.
You'll probably know whether you want to play this based on screenshots (no video necessary here), so if they peak your interest, check it out. If they don't, it's safe to move on - I doubt we're missing very much.
Both the 1001 book at the Wikipedia entry makes note of the soundtrack, which was epic and orchestral, rather than simple and there for the sake of it. To highlight that point, it was released separately a few years later as IQ Final Perfect Music File.
I.Q.: Intelligent Qube, developed by Epics (G-Artists), first released in 1997.
Version played: PlayStation, 1997, via emulation.