First there was Q-bitz – the Major Fun award-winning puzzle game of arranging 16 cubes to match the pattern on a puzzle card. Now there’s Q-Bitz Extreme – a completely different set of cubes and pattern cards. The new cubes – two of which have patterns the regular geometric patterns used in the original Q-Bitz – the rest featuring strangely curved shapes – create intriguing, unanticipated patterns that make the challenge of matching the puzzle cards surprisingly engaging, and, as one would correctly assume, closely approximating “extreme.”
As in the earlier version, you get four sets of 16 wooden cubes, each with their wooden tray, and a collection of 80 puzzle cards. Each set is a different color. One set, with black and yellow colors, turns out to be slightly easier to work with because the high contrast is closer to the black-and-white patterns on the challenge cards. This makes it possible to level the playing field enough to encourage players who are unfamiliar with the game to have an almost equal chance to succeed.
Again, the designers specify four different rounds of play, each presenting a different kind of challenge. In the first round, the task is simply (well, not so simply – after all, this is Q-bitz Extreme) – to be the first player to assemble your cubes so they match the challenge card. In the next round, players begin by rolling their puzzle cubes. They then, without turning any of their cubes over, place their cubes in their puzzle frame as best they can, and then re-roll the remaining cubes until they manage to have only the shapes that are used in the pattern. Then there’s the third round. Here, everyone has 30 seconds to look at the challenge card, and then tries to construct the pattern from memory. And if that’s not challenge enough, in the fourth round you have to try to solve the puzzle in reverse, so that the pieces that are yellow with a black background become black with a yellow background.
And yes, of course, it’s almost as much fun when you play it by yourself.
Designed by Peggy Brown, Q-bitz Extreme comes to us from Mindware, and is recommended for 2-4 players who are at least eight years old.