Intelligent Qube, sometimes abbreviated as "I.Q." (also known as Kurushi in Europe and Australia) is a puzzle game released on the PS1 in 1997. It was both published and developed by Sony Computer Entertainment.
Gameplay consists of the player controlling the character known as Eliot, on a long platform as cubes roll towards the player. The goal of the game is to "capture" certain blocks whilst avoid being crushed by the blocks themselves. There are ten levels in the game, each level consisting of four sets of blocks to capture.
The most basic method of capturing a cube is by tapping the X button. This lays down a blue marker on the square that the player is standing on. When a cube rolls on top of the marker the player can capture the cube by tapping the X button again. Once captured, the cube is removed from the playing field. Only one marker can be placed at a time.
Another method of capturing cubes is by detonating green markers by capturing the "Advantage Cube". This is explained in greater detail in the next section.
Although the basic gameplay is rather simple, Intelligent Qube makes it more complex by layering different mechanics on top of each other. Varying speeds that the blocks move at, more blocks to capture but more importantly; different types of blocks that can help or hinder the player. There are three types of blocks to encounter.
- Basic Cube - The most basic block that can be found in all the levels. To progress further in the game the player must capture all of these blocks. Should any of these blocks fall off the platform, the player would lose a mark on the "Block Count". If the number of the basic blocks exceed the limit, the player would lose the last row of blocks. Giving them less space to work with. This block can vary in color depending on the level but its behavior is no different.
- Advantage Cube - This bright green block can help the player capture the blocks more efficiently and quickly. When one of these blocks are captured, it leaves a green marker in its place. By tapping the Triangle button, the green marker detonates and captures all the blocks within the 3x3 area. Multiple advantage cubes can be captured but all of the advantage markers can only be detonated at the same time as well. By carefully capturing these blocks and detonating them at the right time. The player can capture mulitple blocks at one time, allowing for a higher score. Advantage Cubes can also capture Forbidden Cubes so careful placement is needed. These cubes also count towards the Block Count if they fall off the field.
- Forbidden Cubes - These black cubes are dangerous for if the player does capture these blocks in whatever fashion, the player loses the last row of cubes from the playing field. These blocks do not count towards the Block Scale when they fall off the field thus they should be left alone.
Should the character be crushed by any of these blocks they will be paralyzed and the game automatically fast-forwards until all the cubes from the current set fall off the field. The player is then forced to retry that set again. If the character is standing on the last row of cubes and they are removed, the character falls off and the entire level must be started again.
If the player successfully removes all the Basic Cubes and Advantage Cubes from a set without capturing the Forbidden Cubes, the player is awarded with a "Perfection Score" with an extra row of cubes at the end of the playing field. This is important as the later levels of the game require more space to work with.
By beating the game numerous times new characters are unlocked: Cynthia and Spike the dog. These characters move faster then the default character Eliot.
- For each individual cube that is captured, the player gains 100 Points.
- For each cube that is captured with an Advantage Cube, the player gains 200 Points. The player also gains 200 Points if they capture a cube using the basic method so long that they capture it at the same time they detonate the green marker.
- When the game ends, the game multiplies each remaining row of the level by 1,000 Points. So if the player has ten rows remaining, the player is awarded with 10,000 Points.
The soundtrack was composed by Takayuki Hattori. The orchestral score had a more chilling aspect to it as opposed to the standard upbeat track found in most puzzle games. It was well received and it was eventually released under Sony Music by the title of "IQ Final Perfect Music File" in 1999.
Intelligent Qube was well received and sold about 750,000 copies in 1997. A couple of sequels were developed including I.Q. Final (Kurushi Final: Mental Blocks in Europe) for the Sony PlayStation and Intelligent Qube Remix Plus (IQ Remix) for the PlayStation 2. In 2006, I.Q. Mania for the PlayStation Portable, which contains all three previously iterations of Intelligent Qube, was released in Japan.