(Hijacking my boardgame blog to add a videogame. I don’t play enough videogames to dedicate a blog to it, so bear with me here. It’s fun, it’s puzzly, it has blocks, if you’re a board gamer you might love it!)
Q.U.B.E is a first person puzzler that, unfortunately, is doomed to share a genre with Portal and will forever come up short. There is no wonderful story voiced by excellent voice actors, no story emerging through play (though I hear the director’s cut does a bit of that).
It’s a shame, though, because if you take QUBE on its own merits, it’s a lovely little game of puzzling, physics and shooting pointing at blocks with gloves.
QUBE’s puzzles are based around said gloves that can manipulate blocks in various ways. QUBE stands for Quick Understanding of Block Extrusion, by the way.
As per custom, puzzles start simple and ramp up so graduately you don’t notice that you are a frog in boiling water. Before you know it you are up to your eyeballs in block, there is no way out and you are enjoying the shit out of yourself.
I love it, I get such a rush from clicking and deducing my way out of these puzzles. The reward cycle is just so satisfying: explore (ooh?) – frustrate (grrr!) – solve (aaah). Wash rinse repeat happiness! It’s so addictive and the puzzles are challenging. Most of them are also blissfully cerebral and don’t require much dexterity or timing at all.
Sadly, the difficulty ramp runs itself off of a cliff at what the game proudly proclaims are the first and second “hardest puzzle in the game”. Those are both very, very hard and very finicky. They didn’t really seem to suit the general tone and play mode of the game, or themes for any of the levels. I happily looked up walkthroughs for both of these puzzles, and even then enacting the solution was pretty tense!
That’s just a minor aspect of a great game, though. It’s a highly recommended bit of fun!