Cubicity is a puzzle game currently seeking a green light to become available on Steam. It’s a quaint little game that, while challenging and fun, comes across as broken at times.

You play Seamus, a man who finds himself descending into the bowels of the Earth as he seeks to escape the laboratory of a mad scientist obsessed with testing. You use a plethora of devices to travel through 60 levels, where the goal is to move a cube to a weighted switch which opens the door to continue, avoiding obstacles and enemies along the way. If the parallels with other games weren’t obvious, you also have a portal gun.

The game is 2-Dimensional, with your character hanging from the ceiling as he manipulates objects below him. The concept is simple and the game’s physics generally follow it well enough. You have a magnet gun to attract anything metal, a fusion gun to fuse items together, a portal gun to annoy Valve, and you can also hold multiple objects to weigh yourself down and navigate your character. Generally the level of variety is nice and simple enough to follow, so that nothing is too hard to figure out except for the puzzles themselves.

Though the physics work well enough, the game seems indecisive at times, such as over whether or not you can aim where you drop the cubes. At times it seems you can aim your arm, whereas at other times you can only drop them directly down. It leads to a lot of trying and testing in each level to see exactly what you can do, especially in later levels that really challenge you to think.

And such testing usually leads to guilty victories. It makes me feel dirty to get through a level using flukes, but the game sometimes seems to encourage it! For example, one cube has a repelling field around it which pushes others away, but when fused with another cube it propels itself away from whichever direction it’s facing. However, because the controls make it extremely difficult rotate the object in order to aim it, half the time I would find myself either trapping it in an unreachable area or else knocking down a turret by complete accident and thus winning me the level.

Though puzzle games don’t explicitly require stories or characterisation, Cubicity has thrown in a half-hearted attempt at providing them. The villainous scientist expresses hatred for Seamus for solving his puzzles before retreating to create more, and all Seamus does is repeat phrases when you take too long to make a move. None of this is really necessary, and comes across as more annoying than anything else.

Overall, although Cubicity can be fun at times, there is little charm or impressiveness. I couldn’t find the drive required to really finish the game, in all honesty. Certain aspects of gameplay are interesting, and at times there are a variety of ways to solve puzzles, but some of the time you’ll wonder if you solved them on purpose. The game is decent, and I certainly hope it makes it to Steam, but if you want a puzzle game that’s truly impressive and addictive, look elsewhere.






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