Lifestyle

Review: IQ Circuit

A few weeks ago I shared a Family Road Trip Reading List along with a few other in-car activities. I’m a huge proponent of off-screen activities for road trips. It’s hard to create family memories if everyone’s focus is on their individual screens.

I’ve always enjoyed planning travel activities for our family road trips. Travel bingo, license plate lists, and the alphabet game are always fun to do as a group, but after awhile my people get tired of looking out the window and want something to do on their own.

For that reason, I’m always on the lookout for fun travel games and activity books. IQ Circuit is one such game I received for review from Timberdoodle.

IQ Circuit

Like other Smart Games, IQ Circuit is a single-player puzzle game. This one focuses on concentration, problem solving, and spatial insight. It is recommended for ages 8 to adult.

The idea is to plot uninterrupted “circuits” on the game board with a dot on each end. This is not an electronic game so there are no actual circuits, just the visual representation.

What’s Included

IQ Circuit is a small game, just slightly larger than your typical cell phone. The 10 game pieces and the challenge booklet fit inside the snap-close game board. The compact size and design make it perfect to slip it into a pocket or backpack for travel.

The pieces are cube-shaped, with 2 to 4 cubes connected into different configurations on each piece. Additionally, the pieces are marked with a metallic gold line that makes up the “circuit.” Pieces are double-sided with different line markings on the back side.

The booklet includes 120 challenges with 5 levels ranging from Beginner to Expert. Solutions for each challenge are in the back.

How to Play

I recommend starting with the Starter level just to help get a feel for the game. With Smart Games I’ll usually do the first challenge, and if it’s fairly easy, then do another 2 or 3 from the Starter level before moving on to the Junior level. This one is challenging enough that I’ll enjoy working through the Junior (second) level and then on up. It will definitely take me awhile to work through all the levels.

To play you dump all the pieces out the game board, then study the challenge picture to determine what pieces go in first and where you need to fill in the gaps. Each circuit has to begin and end with a dot, and all pieces have to fit on the board. The earlier levels give guidelines to show you exactly how to place the pieces, where you’ll have to figure that out for yourself with higher levels.

One interesting twist is that the rectangular pieces can be turned to a third blank side to fill in gaps. See how I have the pieces all in place for the first challenge? The remaining piece, as shown, would be an open circuit which would obviously not be right. All I have to do is turn it black side up to fit it in place.

My Thoughts

I love how compact this game is. I can tuck it in my bag along with my Kindle and knitting. Just those 3 things give me a nice variety of activities to choose from on road trips or any time I’m sitting and waiting somewhere. I like keeping a small game like this in my bag to pull out at restaurants when we’re dining with kids. It would also be great for senior citizens for a fun way to keep their cognitive skills sharp.

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