Ever sit down to play a game for just five minutes but the next thing you know it’s been two hours?
QBeez 2 is that kind of a game.
In fact, this sequel is one of the most strangely additive time-wasters we’ve come across in a long time.
In case you haven’t played the original puzzler launched in 2003, gamers see a pile of colored cubes on the screen and the objective is to clear away as many of them as possible by clicking on two or more touching bricks with the same color. The more adjacent cubes you can remove with one click, the more points you’ll be awarded.
While this simple game concept isn’t anything new, QBeez added humor as the cubes were little creatures with faces (similar to how Snood added faces to the colored balls). They also had cute voices, so successfully removing colored cubes from the screen causes them to call out silly things.
Without messing with the formula, QBeez 2 adds quite a bit to the original game. In fact, it’s really four games in one:
Classic mode: This is similar to the original game. It lets gamers simply play through multiple levels that aren’t tied together in any way except more cubes are presented with each successive screen (e.g. 25, then 36, then 49, then 64, etc.). You can choose the difficulty level, number of levels to be completed to win the game, whether you want a timer or not, and so on.
- Quest mode: This fun story-based option lets our little QBeez travel around to 15 locations to complete various quests. Each destination has unique power-ups, such as “Brushez” that paint all of the cubes in a vertical column the same color, and “Katz” cubes (which look like little square tigers) that removes the least abundant color from the board. You’ll also find sharks, bees and more!
- Puzzle mode: click through close to 60 pre-built puzzle screens, including cubes laid out as specific shapes and pictures, such as a witch’s face, a farm scene, a little girl, green aliens and much more. Also, any custom-built puzzles (more on this in a mo’) are stored here, too. You can play any of these boards in any order you like.
- Puzzle Maker: Design your very own custom QBeez screen by choosing how many cubes on the screen (25 to more than 200!), painting the desired colors on each of them, choosing a backdrop, inserting special power-ups on the board and then saving your creation to play or share with friends and family via the Net. You can also import a photo from your hard drive and the game will turn it into a QBeez screen; this doesn’t work very well (the end result rarely looks like the original photo) but is a nice addition nevertheless.
Gamers can also compete with other QBeez 2 players by posting high scores to a worldwide leaderboard.
Qbeez 2 also introduces humorous animated sequences as extra incentive to finish a screen 100 percent (therefore not leaving any cubes behind). One may be a cube-shaped QBeez clown chasing a bull or a Qbeez wearing a funny helmet and riding a motorized skateboard into a brick wall or a QBeez on a safari.
There isn’t much to complain about with QBeez 2. The talented developers at Skunk Studios didn’t mess with the formula that made its predecessor so entertaining and addictive, but added so many new features to QBeez 2 to justify the purchase.