PQ2: Practical Intelligence Quotient


posted 8/1/2007 by Cyril Lachel
other articles by Cyril Lachel
One Page Platforms: PSP
If you don't have time to solve 100 different puzzles, you can also take the Quick Test, which throws five random puzzles at your and gives you a ten minute time limit to finish it. Another mode gives you the option of a Theme Test, which takes similar tests and bunches them up together for you. These different modes offer you a variety of ways to play PQ2, so no matter if you have a lot of time to waste or just a few minutes, this puzzler can fit into your schedule.
One of the coolest new aspects of this sequel is the weekly downloadable test. Every week you can take your PSP online (using a wireless router) and download a fresh batch of levels, which is perfect for those gamers who run right through the 100-Puzzle Test. And if that's not enough, you are also able to download user created levels, a mode that gives you an almost unlimited amount of puzzles to solve. PQ2 also comes with a rather interesting level creator that allows you to share your various levels over the Sony network. Needless to say, if you're one of those people who get addicted to solving these kinds of puzzles then there's quite a bit of content already available to keep this title fresh.
When you look at the game it's clear that all of the attention went into making the puzzles fun (and hard) rather than the game's cosmetics. The graphics are as simple as you can get, only one or two notches up from stick figures. But it's clear that this game is not about visuals, it's about testing (and ultimately improving) your practical intelligence. Whether or not the test is 100% accurate and you will actually learn something from the game is yet to be determined, but at least the puzzles are entertaining and it's a great way to spend a few days, hours, or even minutes.
Like the graphics, PQ2's gameplay is also simple. You use your D-Pad to move your virtual character around the screen, and the analog stick (along with the two shoulder buttons) to rotate the camera. You don't have a jump button, pushing blocks around is a breeze, and the gameplay never feels needlessly complicated or cluttered. The only issue I had was that for some odd reason the pause button is mapped to the triangle button. It's not that big of a deal, but there were more than a few times when I accidentally pushed the Start button instead of pausing the game.
When it comes right down to it PQ2 only has one real problem: It came out after Crush. As much as I hate the idea of comparing these two puzzle games, there's just no way I can write this review without talking about Sega's seminal puzzler. While they aren't exactly the same game, Crush and PQ2 do have a lot in common. I ultimately had more fun with Crush, but at the same time liked the never ending supply of cool puzzles to solve in PQ2. But alas, because these two games came out so close together it's hard to justify buying both games around the same time. But don't worry Crush fans, PQ2 will be here waiting for you when you've grown tired of those 40 levels.
PQ2 manages to take the best elements from the original game and give us a lot more content, a lot more obstacles, and a lot more freedom. The game is still not perfect, but if you're the type of person who likes to keep your brain working then this is about the best "brain game" you're going to get on the PSP. With so many levels on the disc and ready to download, PQ2 feels like a bargain at $30. The simple graphics may turn some gamers off and the puzzles aren't for everybody, but this is one title that deserves to find a broader audience. You might be surprised how much fun this game is, and best of all, it won't make you feel stupid.

With its simple graphics and logic-based puzzles, PQ2 may not look all that exciting. But once you've gotten the hang of it this game proves to be one of the best puzzle games on Sony's handheld. Throw in tons of user-created content and weekly downloadable puzzles and this game goes from just being a lot of fun to being a must-own PSP game!

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