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Published on January 18th, 2012 | by Nick

9

KBMOD Reviews Q.U.B.E.

Upon first glance, Q.U.B.E. looks like a Portal clone. It offers interesting puzzle solving in a 3D space. In a market where carbon-copies are so frowned upon, it is surprising to find a game that offers mechanics that enhance the puzzle-solving experience.

Like many puzzle games, the story in Q.U.B.E. is bare minimum. The game drops the player off in a strange facility that moves and changes with every successful chamber completed. There is no GLaDOS-esque narrator hovering above you, nor any other characters in the game besides yourself. The most “acting” you will witness involves your character making obligatory hand gestures to signify a change in gameplay. There isn’t much to attach yourself to, and you definitely won’t find yourself sitting on the edge of your seat to see what happens next. Most people will be playing Q.U.B.E. for the puzzles, and the game shines in that aspect.

In the beginning of the game, you are introduced to the basic blocks. All are labeled with different colors and operate completely differently. For example, red blocks extend from walls to create a stepping stone or push other green blocks or balls in the desired direction. Blue cubes can be used as trampolines, offering more vertical puzzles and physics experimentation. Soon after the initial “tutorial” puzzles, the game will crank up the difficulty. This is where Q.U.B.E. really shines and requires a keen eye for order of operations. Completing the puzzles is satisfying, and seeing a full set of puzzles completed really gives you warm fuzzies inside.

While the puzzles are clever and unique, there are several complaints to be had throughout the game. Frustration can set in when Q.U.B.E. relies on physics to complete puzzles. On multiple occasions, I found myself restarting a puzzle completely to keep a cube from glitching inside of another block or just not reacting at all. Although I wouldn’t consider this game-breaking, it sure is annoying when you are six or seven steps into a puzzle and have to restart to get something to react the way it is intended.

Audio and visuals aren’t bad, but really nothing to write home about. The sound effects get the job done and give a solid response to the player telling them a cube has been activated. Ambient music is nice, but I found myself turning that off completely and listening to my own music library instead. As far as graphics and aesthetics go, the game looks quite sterile. While the visual style changes slightly as you progress through the game, it still lacks a certain personality. One redeeming factor from the distinct lack of detail is the moving environment. Between “chambers,” the hallways and corridors will sometimes morph and shift under your feet. You stumble upon a couple moments of eye candy that I wish would have been implemented throughout the whole game.

It’s hard to say that this game will have a lasting effect on me, but the time I spent on the puzzles was dense. You won’t necessarily be chugging dozens of hours of Q.U.B.E. down your system, but at a price point of $15, you can’t really fault it for not being a time investment. A player willing to set aside the lack of story will find a lot of value in the puzzles themselves.

Overall, Q.U.B.E. is the most memorable puzzle game I’ve played since Portal 2. While it struggles to find identity, it certainly has some high points. The mechanics are interesting, but can occasionally malfunction. If you’re a fan of puzzle games or are just looking for something to fill a few minutes of your time here and there, I would recommend Q.U.B.E. With that being said, I would give Q.U.B.E. a solid 6 Rubik’s Cubes out of 10.

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9 Responses to KBMOD Reviews Q.U.B.E.

  1. Dan nipnops says:

    FOr our rating system, understand that 6/10 is pretty good. People are too used to IGN giving games an 88 and the game being misrepresented as crap.

    • Player One says:

      So it goes by what out of 10 scales should be like. 1 = a big steaming pile. 5 = Average. 10 = Perfect. Good to know. I don’t get why they all don’t work like that. Even on the 100 scale, 50 should be average with it going up at down from there retrospectively. I can’t remember the last Metacritic score I saw that was under 60-70 which apparently is crap. Even though 60-70 out of 100 is still pretty decent. This is why I never listen to ratings on games. The system in place is bollocks.

      • CharlieTango says:

        I think most reviewers went to a grade style system of rating. Like in school when anything below a 60 or 70 is a failing grade, and a 80 is an average grade. Not that most sites can review for shit anyway. As long as you keep consistent on your site’s rating system it doesn’t bother me too much either way. As long as I know what to expect from your ratings it’s fine with me.

        • Player One says:

          There’s no point in using a scale out of 100 if an average game is going to be around 80. Meaning anything between 80-100 is average or above which would make 60-80 the score for less than average game. Making the scale out of 40 not 100. It’s just one of those things that has always bugged me.

  2. Ofenlicht says:

    No Michelle Pfeiffer scale? Unsubscwibed!

  3. FamedKarma says:

    Why the hell would I respect your interview, you’re not even a real website.

    • Clit Commander says:

      Looks like a real website to me. I mean, you posted a comment, and it’s there for all to read.

      Or do you mean something else by “real?”

      You mean that the site is small, and doesn’t have a huge reputation like other gaming sites?

      Ok, sure, that might be true. But every site has to start somewhere.

      And YOU came, after all.

      • Brandon vol1tion says:

        The “not even a real website” thing is an inside joke about the site from several months ago. I assume FamedKarma’s post is not intended to be serious, but thanks for sticking up for us!

  4. TehFishOfDoom says:

    The real question is how long until Orb gets a MOAB in this game?

nfen

NickNick

Nick Fenton was forged in the fires of Mount Doom in 1876. At age 14 he was traded to a tribe in the tundra of Minnesota for fur pelts. He is only captivated by instagram photos and dinosaur facts. When it comes to video games, there are none more mediocre. See him on the internet with 10 million MySpace and 10 million YouTube.


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