PQ2: Practical Intelligence Quotient 2
PQ2's visual riddles will humiliate you into turning on your brain—something most games simply don't require. While the game may sound like an intelligent diversion from mindless button-mashing, understand that this is light years beyond Brain Age in terms of challenge. Instead of asking players to think fast, PQ2 demands you use all varieties of reason: spatial, observational, and deductive. It's designed to make you feel idiotic, and that's exactly what happens, time and again.
The main gameplay has you trying to get from point A to point B. You'll lift boxes, dodge lasers, avoid Sherlock Holmes types following your footprints, and face countless wrinkles that keep returning you, frustrated, to point A. Eventually, once your head starts to hurt, you'll abandon trial and error—which you're penalized for—and actually think. The ultimate goal is to solve 100 designated puzzles in five hours. Good luck. Around 85 of them are extremely challenging. It's tough work, but the high that comes from finally conquering an impossible puzzle is downright delightful.
Beyond the game: Want to make your friends feel as stupid as you're feeling? You can craft your own levels and trade them online.
Worth playing for: The "A-ha!" moments that come from solving the game's hardest puzzles will fill your neocortex with adrenaline.
Frustration sets in when: Even after you give up on a puzzle that feels downright unsolvable, there's no way to see the answer—unless you find it yourself.
Final judgment: Arguably the PSP's best puzzle game, PQ2 may not make you smarter, but you'll have a great time feeling stupid.