Jun 18, 2015

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Cubicity Review

Cubicity Review

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Cubicity is simple game in both style and structure.  While not the most innovative game, the allure of the game comes from coming to grips with its mechanics and using your wit and intellect to guide Seamus, the protagonist through this fun-looking 2D environment.

There’s virtually nothing in the game in terms of story.  To that end, the story is pretty straight forward.  You take on the role of Seamus whose curious nature gets the better of him as takes a look down a manhole and, inadvertently, falls down the manhole.  Thus, his adventures begin as he will have to brave this underground environment in order make his way back to the surface. Sure there’s a story there and some of the dialogue features humor you can appreciate, but the hallmark of the game and what players will take away from it is the gameplay.

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The mechanics of the game are easy to grasp.  First of all, once Seamus falls down the manhole, he finds himself hanging by waist by some sort of rope harness and armed with a magnet gun.  The goal of each level will be to get a certain black box in a square area.  It will be up to you, the player, to decide how to position these boxes in order to get the black box into the square goal. As you progress, the difficulty of each level goes up and the game will introduce new mechanics such as new concepts of physics to figure out or different guns that do different things such as generate portals.  Of course, the physics aspect of the gameplay is a double-edged sword.  Sure it’s nice when physics works in your favor, but when it starts working against you the game does tend to get a little frustrating.  This is especially so in the more difficult levels where timing becomes a factor.  Drop a box the wrong way or miss your timing and you may have to repeat your process or restart a level entirely.  Each level presents a new challenge that relies on the player’s ingenuity to get through and solve and makes for and enjoyable experience each time the player gets through a level.  And with each level becoming more difficult than the last, that sense of fulfillment after completing each level is compounded that much more.

The graphics and art style are also worthy of praise.  This is a 2D puzzle game that takes on a cartoony look with a sci-fi/fantasy aesthetic.  At the same time, the art style seems to take on an Invader Zim look.  As you progress through the game, Seamus will find himself in environments that really aren’t what you’d expect to find when you fall down a manhole.  There fore, the whole concept for the game seems to stem from The Chronicles of Narnia.  However, the whole magnet and cube mechanic seems like it came straight out of Portal.  So the whole graphic aesthetic of the game seems to be a fusion of Invader ZimChronicles of Narnia, and Portal.

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In the way of replayability, there’s not much to show.  Once you complete a level and know all the tricks to getting past a level, there’s really not much there to bring you back and play through it again.  Another place where this game is lacking is sound.  Aside from some basic sounds and some low and slow music, there’s really not a lot going on in terms of sound.  Although, Cubicity is the kind of game that requires concentration and timing, the accompanying sound does leave this whole world in which Cubicity takes place sort of dull.

Overall, Cubicity is a pretty decent game.  You could literally spend tens of hours getting through all the levels of the game which could prove to to be a thoughtful and scintillating experience that that first time through.  While you can also appreciate both the art and story, the most memorable part of the game is the gameplay.  However, there’s really not much beyond that; once you get through all the levels the first time there’s very little bringing you back to play through the game again.  Cubicity is a fun game regardless and though it’s only on PC at the moment, it seems that it would find a better home on mobile devices.

Cubicity
Platform: PC
Genre: 2D physics-based platformer
Release Date:
Developer: Bubble Head Games
Publisher: Bubble Head Games
ESRB Rating: E
MSRP: $3.99


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