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Developer Sony Japan Options
Distributer Sony 1-2 Player
Game Type Puzzle Mem. Card
Review Date October'97
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Setting the Scene
If there's one thing that the Playstation still lacks, then it must surely be a wider selection of puzzle games. You know the type. Games that everyone can play, young and old, male and female, active or disabled. Games that kill conversations. Games that make your Grandad quit smoking to buy a Playstation. Kurushi is one such game.

Kurushi originated from Japan and is a puzzle game that can be loosely compared to Tetris. Originally known as Intelligent Qubes, or I.Q, this block puzzler has that addictive 'just one more go' feel to it.

There ain't a great deal to say about the graphical content in Kurushi. A grey gridded platform suspended in space that is four or five blocks wide by approximately 25 blocks long, a small character in a suit who is free to roam anywhere on the flat upper surface and a number of colored cubes that advance towards you.

Sounds and Effects
The sound effects involve an echoing clump as the blocks roll towards you and an almighty crash as they fall from the edge of the platform. There is also the a muffled yelp if the character is squashed under the advancing cubes or a scream that fades into the distance should he fall from the platform.

The rules of Kurushi are simple but will probably sound more confusing than actually are. To combat this problem the option screen has been catered to include a series of demonstrations of the game in motion presented in an understanding way.

The rules are as follows.
You control and occupy a space at the front of the gridded platform and a group of blocks will advance towards your man which he must destroy before they reach the your edge of the platform. To do this he must mark a spot on the grid by pressing the X button and then deactivate this square at the precise time a rolling cube covers this spot by pressing the X button again. If his timing is correct the cube is captured and will disappear. This process is repeated until all of the advancing cubes are captured. Should any cube pass by your man and fall from the end of the platform, then the number of fallen cubes will be calculated on a block scale. When this number exceeds the line of stage cubes an avalanche will fall reducing the size of your playing area for the next game. Your efforts are scored by giving you an IQ measured against your efficiency of capturing the cubes. If you are still with me I will carry on.

Certain cubes must not be captured. These are the black cubes or the Forbidden cubes. For every black cube captured, you will lose the final row of the stage therefore reducing your playing area. Simply let the black cubes pass by and fall from the stage.

Advantage cubes are colored green. When these are captured and activated, not only is the single cube destroyed, but the surrounding 3x3 cubes are collected. When activating the green cube care must be taken to ensure there are no black cubes in the vicinity.

That's it, and if you understand the rules after my explanation I will award you with an IQ of 150.

There are eight zones of four stages and five difficulty levels. If my sums are correct that is 160 levels, each harder than the last and if reports from Japan are to be believed, there are few who can claim to have completely beaten this game.

Value for Money
The game has many of the addictive qualities that made Tetris so popular. Frustration will creep in as you move up the difficulty scale but you will always return to crack that troublesome level.

The two player option only allows for two single player games rather than a simultaneous head to head match which is disappointing. However as a single player game Kurushi is very good indeed.

GRAPHICS: Average What sound like a complicated game is in fact a very addictive experience. There is a gentle learning curve which eventually becomes a frantic race of mind and reactions. Could prove to be the most popular puzzler on the PSX.
SOUND: Average

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