A quick look at the Top Free iPhone app chart is enough to realise that there is little room for more… intellectual apps. Sure we get plenty of trivia and quizzes, but I still haven't seen any other app as infuriating and rewarding as this one yet.
Quibble [iTunes Link] by Chess Pie Media is a word game that tests your logical thinking and ability to connect concepts by matching four words, sentences or pictures. The idea is simple, but completing every puzzle can be more challenging than what you initially thought.
You are presented with four cubes with one clue on each side. You can turn the cubes as much as you like until you find a connection between the four clues facing up. The aim of the game is to match up four sides of the cubes with clues sharing a common theme. Once you find a solution for one face of the cubes, you will need to continue matching the rest of the clues until you have the solution of all six sides.
As you expected, this is easier said than done. A cube with the word "Franc" could immediately be matched with the word "French" in another cube, however, other clues like "Yen" and "Dollar" suggest that the common theme will be currencies, and not currencies and their respective countries. This is the level of complexity you'll have to face, which I found very challenging.
Quibble also offers hints to complete the puzzles, but they won't move any of the cubes for you. The hint will only tell you how many clues are correctly matched at a given point, but not which ones are the good ones. This is like completing a test-type exam and your teacher telling you there are some wrong answers without saying which ones need to be corrected.
All of this must be done within a generous time limit, however, your score will be determined by how fast you manage to solve every face. You are awarded with extra multiplier combos at the start of the game, but if you get stuck, you end up with a very low result. Unfortunately, Game Center and OpenFeint are not supported. It would be nice to compete against friends and be able to send challenges to each other. As it stands now, Quibble is more of a lonely gaming experience perfectly suited for playing while commuting and looking like a normal person.
The game mixes different kind of puzzles including math calculations, rhymes and synonyms. The math module was pretty easy but I found it a good work out for the brain. Rhymes could be considered a training for crosswords, since you have to match words and their cryptic description. Synonyms was my favourite from the beginning, as I could match up words fast while expanding my vocabulary. The Quibbles type was a bit more random as the shared theme changes on pretty much every side of the cubes: suture, record, cactus and knitting are related with the theme needles and tonic, running, holy and mineral are types of water.
Overall I liked the execution in Quibble and found that hiding other available options put your memory skills in good use. It would be easy to criticise the game saying that some of the puzzles are too random because this is part of it's uniqueness. It definitely annoy you and frustrate you and I could have only hoped for a way to see the solutions before you decide to end the game.
While the developer has included a junior math pack for younger players, there is a specific version for kids available too. Maybe some of us should start with this one first...