App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
I was rather intrigued by the box-tumbling puzzler that is Cuboid when it first released on PSN so long ago, but I never managed to play it. With the recent release of Cuboid Free I’ve finally gotten another opportunity to check it out. But just how well does this precariously balanced puzzle game handle the move from PS3 to iOS? I’d say pretty darned well.
Cuboid Free is full of levels and elements that revolve around one key mechanic: moving a box around a series of floating platforms in order to get it to the exit. This box isn’t a cube, however, and players will have to account for the extra length lest they slip over the side and take a tumble into the abyss. Or apply too much weight to wooden platforms and tumble into the abyss. Additional modifiers such as platform-switching buttons and box-splitting teleporters up the ante significantly and make acquiring three stars in a given level much more difficult. Heck, sometimes even getting through a stage can be tough since the Cuboid can only utilize the exit of it lands on one of its ends. Because it won’t fit otherwise.
There can be a remarkable amount of preplanning and strategy in Cuboid Free’s stages. Moving down a narrow path when starting from the wrong tile could lead to some unwelcome backtracking or outright failure. It can also put players in a tough spot that may require them to restart. Some of the puzzles can be tackled with some trial-and-error, but more often than not they really encourage players to think. I’m especially fond of the moments when the Cuboid gets split into two separate cubes. I have to split my focus between the two and figure out the best place for them to reconnect. It makes me think with 3-Dimensional space, which is something I’m not used to in my iOS games.
I was worried about the swipe controls (up, down, left, right) at first, but with the exception of a couple of easily avoidable mishaps involving accidentally selecting the wrong cube in a newly formed duo with a misplaced finger it actually works incredibly well. My problem is the lack of an ability to move the camera. At least I think it’s lacking. Problem one is that the options aren’t very clear on the matter as they only use icons, not text. This leads to problem two, which is that I can’t actually figure out how to manipulate the camera, assuming I can in the first place. And sometimes being able to view the level from a different angle would be quite handy.
Cuboid Free might be in need of more discernable camera options, but other than that it’s a great little puzzle game. One that even manages to avoid the pitfalls of gated freemium for the most part.