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QBeez 2

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Skunk Studios’s QBeez 2 is the latest variation of a tried and true puzzle game in which you click on groups of like-colored blocks to make them disappear. The more blocks that are in each group, the bigger your score.

You’ll need to eradicate a certain percentage of the blocks to move on to the next level. You can rotate or shuffle blocks to find better groupings. But be careful—you can only use these powers a few times in each level. Line up two or more power-up blocks and you’ll activate special powers. Colored bombs, for example, destroy all similarly-colored blocks. Line up two or more Clown power-ups and a rodeo clown appears—shaking his thing until a mad bull smashes into the wall and makes the QBeez behind it disappear in a cloud of dust.

Classic mode, which becomes progressively more challenging with each level, will be familiar to QBeez veterans. The game also includes several new modes. Quest mode takes you on a journey through a land fraught with peril, as you square off against hungry sharks, angry insects, and more. Puzzle mode requires a bit more strategy—clicking on the wrong QBeez may box you in before you’re able the clear out the puzzle.

Creative types will enjoy the Puzzle Maker, which lets you put together your own puzzles using your digital photos. You can add different colored QBeez or your own power-ups. I only wish the feature integrated with iPhoto. As it is, you’ll have to navigate to your iPhoto folder manually to import a digital photo stored there.

The game’s electro-pop soundtrack and cartoonish sound effects (QBeez shout “red together!” or “vanilla together!” as they disappear) are entertaining. QBeez is nonviolent—outside of the occasional charging cartoon bull—and certainly suitable for the whole family. As with all of Skunk Studios’s releases, you can download the game and try it out before you buy.

The bottom line

A pleasant evolution in the classic puzzle genre, QBeez 2 adds some fun elements like the Puzzle Maker and Quest mode.

QBeez 2
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