May 30, 2007 - We've all become accustomed to relying on IQ tests to get a general sense of a person's intelligence. But just because you can score a high number on a standardized exam doesn't necessarily mean you're intelligent. You might not be able to practically apply this raw knowledge to solve puzzles placed before you. At least, that's the theory behind the PQ series from Now and D3 Publisher of America. The latest title in the franchise, PQ2: Practical Intelligence Quotient 2 will be released in a few weeks, and we pitted our brains against the puzzler for some in-depth impressions.

Based off the studies by Professor Masuo Koyasu of Kyoto University, PQ2 takes a player's personal information, such as their age, global location, sex and blood type to help generate a profile and avatar. From there, PQ2 places this avatar in a maze with a variety of puzzles, traps and other elements. For example, players will need to avoid technological hazards like laser beams as well as human opponents, like detectives and police officers, who will force you to start a puzzle all over again. The goal is simple: move through, over and around these obstacles in the shortest number of steps and shortest amount of time in order to reach the goal, which is signified by a pillar of light.
Puzzles will start out simple...

To help you get accomplish this task, there are a number of tools and items that you'll be able to use in the surrounding environment. For example, players will have the opportunity to push and pull boxes that can be used to bridge gaps or block hazards. By triggering pressure switches, an avatar can open doors or activate lifts that can help you reach new levels. You'll also be able to pick up and lay down boxes which can be used as steps, although you may have to be careful based upon the kind of box you have in hand: a normal box can be dropped too far out of reach for your player, while glass boxes can shatter upon impact. Figuring out what items to use, and in the proper order, can help you fly through these puzzles.

Based on how you manage to complete the task placed before you, the game can evaluate your progress and eventually calculate your PQ quotient along a specific scale. Obviously, the higher the score, the better you are, but unlike IQ tests, there are a few variables that PQ2 will measure. The first time it's played, it expects that the majority of players will wind up in the middle of the scale. However, it does extend the possibility that with additional time invested, players can increase their skills and thereby their PQ score.
... But expect them to get much more complicated as you test your PQ score.

Luckily, players will have a variety of ways that they can test themselves in PQ2. For one thing, players can take on the full PQ test, attempting to solve 100 puzzles within 300 minutes. If that's way too long for you to attempt in one sitting, you can get a snapshot of your PQ score by taking a quick test. The shortened version provides you with five puzzles that you need to complete before 10 minutes pass. If this seems too straightforward, players can also check out some of the themed puzzles that the game will provide, such as constantly avoiding traps or solving the maze in a single move. With more than 250 mind benders included in the game, there should be plenty to keep you occupied. However, just in case you manage to fly through these puzzles, players can create new brainteasers for themselves to work on. If the level is good, you can use Infrastructure mode to upload to other players as well as download new puzzles to try out.

We'll have more on PQ2 soon, but for now, check out these new screens linked below.

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