IQ-CANDY - Sweet for your brain

 

THE STORY BEHIND THE DESIGN OF IQ-CANDY


IQ-Candy is a new puzzle game I designed this year for SmartGames. Although there is also “IQ” in the name of this game, it doesn’t have the same size as the other IQ-games. It’s still a very compact game, but larger and square (similar to Back2Back, Bend-it, Temple Trap, etc).


But apart from the size, the concept is very much an IQ-puzzle. The object of the game is also to place all puzzle pieces on the game board. As explained earlier on the page of IQ-Blox, every IQ-game I design comes with different constraints. This way challenges have only one solution and each game feels different. The  additional constraint in IQ-Candy is the game board itself. It has fixed pins in specific locations. Some pins have a vertical shape, some a horizontal.


Each puzzle piece has holes that fit over these pins. Vertical holes in the puzzle pieces fit over vertical pins on the game board, horizontal holes over horizontal pins. The cross shaped holes fit over both horizontal and vertical pins. Some parts on the game board don’t have any pins and can of course be covered by any part of a puzzle piece.


top: example of a Junior (left)  and a Master (right) challenge  and solution


A puzzle piece only can be placed on the grid, if all pins fit inside the right shape of holes in the puzzle piece above. But as soon you rotate a puzzle piece the orientation of the holes also changes, creating different options.


FOOD FOR THOUGHT

In the beginning the game was named IQ-Bytes, because the shape of the holes reminded me to how information is stored on a optical drive when you look at it through a microscope. But when the first samples in translucent colors arrived, one of my colleagues found that the puzzle pieces looked like candy. So we wanted to name it Brain-Candy, something that pleases the mind, similar to the word eye-candy. But unfortunately this name was already in use and so finally IQ-Candy was chosen.


Because of the looks and name we even explored a candy bag for the packaging, but eventually we settled with a more classic cardboard packaging, although the design is still inspired by the way candy is often packed. In a way, finding the right box for this game proved also to be a real “packing problem”.




The most important task when developing this puzzle game, was to find the best position of the fixed pins on the game board:

• too many pins would limit the number of possible packings, resulting in too few challenges and less variation

• we also tried cross shaped pins, but these limited the number of packings even more

• too few pins would limit the number of challenges with only 1 pieces shown in the challenge.


    


top: old packaging (left) and new packaging (right)


The game includes 60 challenges. The biggest advantage of putting so many constraints in the game board by adding fixed pins, is that you don’t need a lot of set up. Many challenges require you to only place 1 or 2 puzzle pieces before you can start. It also means that these puzzle are not extremely hard to solve, that’s why this game doesn’t include a wizard level. Solutions only show the color and shape of puzzle pieces, because sometimes pieces can be flipped over, so that puzzle piece is still on the same place, but the vertical and horizontal holes are not. So each challenge has a unique solution for the place of each puzzle piece, except for the position of the holes inside some puzzle pieces.

 


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Raf Peeters, January 2015

English/

2017

TEMPLE CONNECTION

SNOW WHITE

JUMP IN’

IQ-FOCUS


2016

LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD

PENGUINS POOL PARTY

PARKING PUZZLER

IQ-XOXO

DEDUCKTION

DINOSAURS MYSTIC ISLANDS

WALLS & WARRIORS

SMARTCAR 5x5

HIDE & SEEK PIRATES JR

HIDE & SEEK JUNGLE

NORTH POLE EXPEDITION

GHOST HUNTERS

ANTI-VIRUS MUTATION

2015

THREE LITTLE PIGGIES

BUTTERFLIES

IQ-BLOX

IQ-CANDY

PENGUINS PARADE


2014

QUADRILLION

BRAIN CHEESER

CITY MAZE

IQ-STEPS


2013

BUNNY BOO

VIKINGS BRAINSTORM

BACK 2 BACK

IQ-LINK

AB UNDER CONSTRUCTION

AB ON TOP


2012

TEMPLE TRAP

BILL & BETTY BRICKS

BEND-IT

IQ-FIT

NOAHS ARK

AQUABELLE


2011

PENGUINS ON ICE

TRUCKY 3

TROY

IQ-TWIST


2010

CHICKEN SHUFFLE

ANACONDA

CANNIBAL MONSTERS

SMARTCAR

SMARTPHONE


2009

TITANIC

DAY & NIGHT

2008

ROADBLOCK

METROVILLE

ALCATRAZ


2007

CAMELOT JR

CASTLE LOGIX

GOGETTER 4


2006

AIRPORT TRAFFIC CONTROL

HIDE & SEEK PIRATES

TOWER OF LOGIC INFERNO

DUOPUZZLE


2005

CAMOUFLAGE

HIDE & SEEK SAFARI


2001

GOGETTER 1, 2 AND 3