No one ever thought puzzle games featuring square shapes would continue to thrive over 20 years later. It's as if the square is an object of infinite use in the video gaming industry. Well, guess what? We've got another square-based puzzler heading our way, but in the third-dimension, which means it utilizes cubes. And hey, that's also what the game's called: Cube!
D3 recently took the wraps off their PSP puzzler and based on what we know, it sure sounds like it's going to end up quite the addictive title. More importantly, its price-tag of only $20 should make it a worthy purchase if the final product does, indeed, turn out to be solid. The premise of the game is to navigate a cube from point-A to point-B, but a number of obstacles will come your way that you must overtake. A part of your challenges will require you to finish a maze under a certain time. In addition to that, you'll have to collect the keys that are lying around each maze, as well. Those are just two of the more basic challenges present in each one of the game's 135 levels. Other challenges include conveyor belts that will drag you in various directions, moving barriers, bombs and so forth.
To aid you in completing each level, Cube features a bit of a quirk that prevents the navigation of puzzles from being linear. Instead of just rolling the cube left, right, up and down...you can actually roll it in a variety of different positions. For instance, you can roll the cube underneath a platform and the camera will adjust to your tilt so you can continue to view your progress from the proper angle. Basically, the cube will roll around any surface it is on. If you're on top of one cube, you can roll your cube all around the stationary one, and stick to every one of its sides (above, below, to the sides). This freedom of control is critical to solving most of the game's puzzles.
And when you've completed the game's core of 135 levels, you can go ahead and create your own. Moreover, you can share your custom levels via multiplayer sessions in either co-op games or versus matches. If you feel a bit lazy, you can always use one of the default 30 multiplayer levels the game comes with. But the inclusion of a level-editor that you're able to share is terrific. Likewise, game-sharing should be enabled, meaning only one copy of Cube will be needed to play between two PSPs. Unfortunately, standard online gameplay doesn't seem to be present - so we'll have to settle for LAN.
Visually, this is a simple title. There isn't much to expect here except a plane made up of cubes, with a cube rolling around them. In any case, it sure sounds like D3 is bringing a pretty refreshing experience to the table with Cube. Look for the game to drop March 27th for a mere $19.99.
1/29/2007 Arnold Katayev