Developer: Playground Publishing
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.1.2
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½
Controls Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★☆☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Space Qube is a game that, on paper, is really cool. In practice, it’s just a bit dull.

SpaceQube-11The conceptual aspect of the game is fantastic: it’s a space shooter, kind of like Galaga but from a behind-the-ship perspective, but with ships that are made entirely out of cubes. And players can build their own ships from the cubes they pick up while playing the game (or buying through in-app purchases, of course). These ships are effectively 16x16x16 cubes, that are created by placing them in each 16×16 layer. It’s possible to create them front to back, or top to bottom – with the ability to toggle between the two views to make that ship just perfect.

Interestingly, depending on how the ship is constructed, its stats are modified. This requires some experimentation to find the best balance between speed and armor, but in general, more cubes mean more armor, smaller designs create speedier ships. Players who don’t want to create can download ships created by other players from the in-game sharing tools, or can play one of the pre-created ships. As well, great ships can be unlocked by playing.

SpaceQube-8The problem is that the actual gameplay isn’t a lot to write home about. Mostly it takes way too long: levels with each boss can take several minutes each, and other than getting more cubes for ship upgrades and building new ones, there’s not much of an interesting game here. The music is cool, the ability to roll in combat is helpful, and the bosses are nifty. But it’s just not that interesting, it doesn’t do a lot that’s new, and considering how interesting the building portion of the game is the space shooting is especially a letdown in comparison. It’s not bad, just uninspired and requires too much time for a mobile game.

Really, the fun of Space Qube is just in the ability to build one’s own ship and take it out to shoot enemies. But the first part is infinitely more engaging.

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