Cubicity is a fiendish puzzle game which was released onto Desura last month and is currently sitting in Steams Greenlight process. You play as a bloke, who upon seeing an open manhole cover in the street, decides to dive right in!
Unfortunately though that manhole cover leads to the evil lair of a twisted scientist, who upon finding his lair once again penetrated by a curious bloke who can’t leave a manhole alone, decides to punish him by putting him through a fiendish series of traps and trials, although considering my experience with the title, it felt more like the scientist was punishing me rather than my character.
The basic crux of the gameplay involves using a magnet to pick up blocks and deposit them in a container at the other side of the screen. This isn’t as simple as it sounds as you can only move left and right and have to rely on the weight of the blocks themselves to move you up and down. Visually the game is relatively clean and simple and the audio continues this trend, offering little but the noises you make and some minor background elements. The plot and character interactions are all handled purely via speech bubble.
Now I know these kind of games are supposed to be frustrating but I honestly feel that Cubicity could benefit from a slightly more useful tutorial or some better kind way of introducing the mechanics to the player. It didn’t seem immediately apparent to me that you had to only get the black cube to the exit, that you could pick up multiple cubes and that picking these cubes up affected your weight. Perhaps I’m just a bit dumb at the moment, but I certainly found aspects of this game to be more annoying than anything.
This comes to the fore more so in relation to the moving platforms which the cubes can ride on; these appear to actually be in the background so can go behind things which obstruct the player, yet you’re perfectly capable of interacting with them as if they were in the foreground. It’s little things like this which to me lead to a feeling of a lack of polish and the wrong type of frustrating experience while playing. It’s almost as if they game was play tested purely by people involved in its creation – I’m sure everything is obvious once you know, but to a fresh pair of eyes even the simplest of levels are frustrating and unclear.
I wanted to check I wasn’t perhaps been unduly harsh to the game, so grabbed the Mrs, a massive fan of puzzle games, and sadly she pretty much agreed entirely with me in that the game doesn’t present itself particularly well to new players. In fact she was so infuriated by me forcing her to “suffer” playing the game I was in the dog house for the rest of the night. To be perfectly honest there isn’t much in the way of reasons to recommend this game. If you do have a desire to give it a shot, I strongly recommend you check out the demo first.
MLG Rating: 3/10 Format: PC Release Date: 12/11/2013
Disclosure: Midlife Gamer were provided a copy of Cubicity for review purposes. The title was reviewed over the course of 4 days on a PC. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.