With the recent abundance of 3D spatial puzzles on the PSP (Cube, Crush, and last year's PQ), it can be hard to choose the right one for your needs. PQ2: Practical Intelligence Quotient makes the choice a little easier. Its clean graphics, satisfying puzzles, and overall great design improve upon the original PQ and make PQ2 one of the best 3D puzzle options on the PSP.
PQ2 follows up its predecessor with all new puzzles based on the same general format of the original PQ. The object of each puzzle is to successfully move a tiny, faceless avatar across a 3D puzzle grid to the exit. To succeed, you must rearrange blocks, trigger switches, go through warp doors, and avoid lasers, policemen, and detectives.
What makes PQ2 fun is that the different gameplay elements (like kinds of movable blocks, obstacles, etc.) are kept to a minimum, which means less arbitrary stuff for you to memorize. It would be easy for a game like this to get bogged down with too many things to remember (what does the yellow box with the circle on it do again?), which would require tedious tutorials. Instead, PQ2's variety comes from all the uniquely clever puzzle designs.
Going along with the minimalist theme, the sparse graphics may not do much to draw players in at first, but end up being one PQ2's strongest points. Simple and without any unnecessary clutter, PQ's presentation allows the puzzles to take center stage. Loading times, while still there, are kept to a minimum, allowing you to go from puzzle to puzzle without breaking stride.
One of the only problems we have with PQ2 is that it's definitely not conducive to on-the-go play sessions. Not only is each puzzle timed, but some of them are so brain-strainingly difficult that we had trouble completing them, even with 100% of our attention focused on the game. Forget about acing the trickier puzzles on a crowded bus or in a noisy classroom. Unless you're a super-genius, it's not going to happen unless you have zero distractions or resort to trial and error.
With over 250 new puzzles and a level editor to create your own puzzles to send to friends, PQ2 is an easy recommendation for fans of the first PQ or anyone looking for a puzzle challenge on the PSP. Just ignore the fact that IQ scores (or PQ scores, in this case) are totally meaningless on every level. (If you actually believe your PSP can tell you how smart you are, there's no hope for you anyway.)