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Q isn’t just the 17th letter in the English alphabet; it is also the solitary letter titling one of the latest additions to the Xbox Games Store. Originally a mobile game, Q has made the rather huge leap to the Xbox One, allowing Liica inc. and OrangeBox to provide the world with a puzzler to really pose a challenge to gamers. Will it blow our collective minds with insane puzzles to solve?

One thing is for sure, your mind will potentially explode but that’ll be most likely down to frustration.

The idea is to solve puzzles, known as Qs, using the art of drawing and subsequently your creativity via Kinect or an Xbox controller. You’ll be given a screen with an objective to fulfil in order to succeed and it’s down to you to figure out one of the many ways to complete it. With 140 levels to take a crack at, this could provide hours of conundrums. Be aware this review has been written based on playing Q using a controller, as I suspected this would offer the most precise method of playing.

It starts off by leading you into a false sense of security for Q1 by giving instructions to literally draw anything on the screen to pass the first test; I thought to myself, this is going to be a series of ridiculously easy puzzles, for a while at least. And to a degree it was. For example, on an early level there is a ball on screen with the instruction to just move it across to the left side of the screen. You’d do that by drawing an object that’ll hit the large pink ball enough to make it roll to one side.

Q1

Sadly the level of easiness switches from one extreme to the other as soon as Q15. No matter how many times I attempted to knock over an object that looks like a test tube with a ball inside, I was always just slightly off from the solution. It’s the levels of this ilk that caused me to do the unthinkable… look on Youtube after a crazy amount of retries. Even then, I spent ages trying to recreate the drawings made in the video until I finally got lucky. Being precise is pretty tricky that’s for sure.

Creative-wise, the developers have brought together a whole host of wackiness such as needing to flip an alien called Alex over a Godzilla silhouette or having to push a Moai into a specific area. There’s no doubt they’ve thought long and hard towards making these puzzles interesting and difficult to solve but there has to be a limit as to how tough it is. When I’m reaching 700 retries just as I’m passing Q30 of 140, then I know there’s a difficulty issue. I’m no newcomer to thinking outside the box.

A slightly nifty feature is being able to see how many players in the world have solved a certain Q; it can put the mind at ease knowing that less than 10% have managed to complete the level you’re stuck on. Further proof really that it’s too darn hard when only 115 people have passed the objective in Q60.

There’s not much more to say about Q except that I wouldn’t recommend it unless you have the patience of a saint. A combination of a ridiculous difficulty, a far from precise drawing tool which can ruin an attempt too often and actual lag when you’ve drawn quite a lot on screen make a recipe for disaster. Although if you know someone who has this game, it’s rather hilarious watching them trying to solve a Q as the frustration just grows inside of them.

Q is an irritating puzzle game that mentally exhausts the player to the point where the in-game congratulatory “You Did It” upon solving a puzzle barely helps lighten the mood. No one should have to go through this torture, you’ve been warned.

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