Review: IQ Twist

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IQ Twist, developed by Raf Peeters and designed by SmartGames, is easily one of the most difficult one-player puzzle games I’ve ever played. It’s rather difficult to put down, regardless. The game itself is simple: There is a booklet with 100 puzzles. Each puzzle only shows you which of the seven colored pegs are used, and where they are placed (the game ships with two green pegs, two yellow pegs, two blue, and one red). You must find a way to place all eight twisted pieces onto the board so that they not only fit, but so that each peg goes through a hole of a matching color.  Sound challenging?

In addition to visual-spatial recognition, a heavy dose of logic is an absolute must for playing IQ Twist. While a lot of puzzles have peg locations that essentially give you part of the answer as there is only one way to physically cover a peg, this isn’t always the case. Employing trial and error and planning ahead are both necessary strategies in order for you to solve the puzzles.

In terms of physical design, the game is contained very well. It plays out of its own little case that flips open, and there are holes for the colored pegs when they’re in storage or not used for the puzzle you’re currently playing. The booklet fits neatly into the top of the case, making the whole thing small and easy to take anywhere. The pieces and pegs fit well onto the board, so there’s no irritating design to be distracted by.

When you delve into the question of whether IQ Twist is actually fun, well… no. This isn’t designed for fun, it’s designed to be mentally challenging. The only fun to be gained from playing IQ Twist is the satisfaction of beating a difficult puzzle. Colors are all well and good for appealing to children, but frankly, I don’t know any children that would be able to consistently solve these puzzles. No matter how old you are, it’s going to be tough.

Speaking of tough, my one real beef with IQ Twist is its “difficulty levels.” The 100 puzzles are split up into five levels ranging from “Starter” to “Wizard,” but I don’t see how Wizard puzzles are drastically harder than Starter puzzles. Some of the starter puzzles kept me occupied for twenty seconds, others, ten minutes. It just doesn’t make sense.

If you’re looking for a good time, you won’t find it in IQ Twist. If you’re looking to stretch yourself with a bit of casual puzzling, this is one of the greatest ways I’ve ever seen to do so. The odds of you running out of those hundred puzzles too quickly are pretty slim, but even once you’ve done all IQ Twist has to offer, you can torture one of your friends with it.

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