Cuboid is a new puzzle game available to download from the Playstation Store for the price of £7.99. As the name would suggest, it features… a cuboid. In case your memory of geometry is a little rusty, a cuboid is a solid figure bounded by six faces, forming a convex polyhedron. (Thanks, Wikipedia). In real world terms, think of two cubes joined together at one end and you get the idea. You control the cuboid, and your simple (at first) task is to get it to the exit. You do this by toppling your cuboid over on to its side, and then flipping it end over end or rolling it sideways across the level towards a glowing hole which is the exit. However, the exit is a square shape which means that you have to tip your Cuboid end-on into it. This leads to lots of levels where you actually start right next to the exit, but the orientation of your ‘boid is wrong and you have to set off on an epic journey around the level in order to get lined up with the exit.

As all the best puzzle games do, Cuboid starts out very simple, lures you in and then fairly quickly amps up the difficulty until you are left scratching your head in bafflement.

Starting out with simple puzzles, it gradually adds in lots of different elements, such as fragile wooden squares that can only support the weight of your cuboid if it is resting on its side. There are bridges triggered by different switches, some of which can be pressed by any part of the cuboid, and some of which require the full weight of the cuboid to be on them (i.e. you have to have it standing on its end directly on the switch). There are also “teleport” squares which split your cuboid into two regular old boring cubes and place them somewhere else on the level. You can control the two cubes independently (switching with the X button) until the two meet, whereupon they join together and you are (phew) once again back in cuboid country.

All of this is done against the clock, and with a count of the number of moves you have made, but as there is no actual time limit, the timer is just to rate your performance. Every ten or twenty levels, though, there is a “boss” level. These differ from normal levels as they feature a limited number of moves and power-up icons scattered across the level which give you more moves. These force you to really stop and think, and you’ll find yourself completing a level in roughly 20 moves instead of the several hundred I frequently take on an unrestricted level. Each of these “boss” levels wins you a Playstation Trophy as well, so there’s an incentive to put the brain work in.

Unlike a lot of puzzle games Cuboid steers clear of overly loud and jingly music, instead going for a quiet ambient soundtrack which doesn’t irritate you like crazy when you are racking your brains. The graphics are nice and colourful, with the levels (rather inexplicably) hovering in the middle of what appears to be a large cathedral. This isn’t explained, but then who really needs a story in a puzzler? There’s no multiplayer at all, but there is an online leaderboard for fastest completion times (although it seems somewhat pointless because you could easily learn a level and then just repeat it mechanically to score a good time).







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