Review: Cuboid

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The next TikGames / Creat Studios PSN production I’m here to tell you about today is Cuboid, a new block-flipping 3D puzzle game now available on the PS3 PlayStation Store.

Just as a good puzzler should, Cuboid turns an exceedingly simple concept into something compelling and addictive. In the game you are challenged to guide a rectangular block through 60+ floating grid-based puzzle boards. The block can be maneuvered in two ways: it can be turned on its side and rolled sideways two spaces wide or it can be turned upright and flipped end over end one space at a time. Using these methods of movement, you have to figure out the proper way to not only get the block to the end of each puzzle board without falling off the edge, but do so in the correct pattern that enables the block to insert into each stage’s goal portal on its final flip.

Sounds easy, right? Well, for the first 30 beginner stages it is because many of the early boards are straightforward find-the-correct-path puzzles. But in the subsequent set of 30 expert levels where pressure-plate switches, collapsible wooden board spaces and portals that split the rectangular block into two individual square blocks come into play, the game becomes devilishly challenging…in a good way. The intelligent level designs are incredibly tricky and the difficulty is very well balanced. It’s difficult, but not in a cheap or unfair way.

For those who really want to test their wit, the game has a score-based component that rewards you with bronze, silver or gold medals based on how quickly you complete each puzzle and how many block flips you use. This optional high-score-chasing element combined with trophies and an online leaderboard make for pretty good replay value.

The only problem I really have with Cuboid is its lack of aural and visual diversity. The mystical graphics and soothing ambient atmosphere are fine and dandy, don’t get me wrong, but from the first stage to the last everything looks and sounds almost exactly the same. Sure, background objects vary from time to time, but the setting never changes from its ancient cathedral-esque style. It would’ve been great to see more environmental themes to mix things up, that’s all I’m saying.

Lack of audiovisual diversity aside, Cuboid is an intelligently-crafted puzzler requiring focus, quick thinking and strong problem solving skills. If you’re up for some mind-bending, block-flipping puzzle fun, drop in on the PlayStation Store right now and give Cuboid a download.

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Pros:
+ Difficulty level is well balanced
+ Tricky puzzle board layouts
+ Medal system adds replay value
+ Simplistic yet addictive play mechanics; that’s the mark of a great puzzler!

Cons:
– Every level pretty much looks and sounds the same

Game Info:
Platform: PS3 via PSN Download
Publisher: TikGames/Creat Studios
Developer: TikGames/Creat Studios
Release Date: 1/8/09
Genre: Puzzle
ESRB Rating: Everyone
Players: 1

About the Author

Matt Litten is the full-time editor and owner of VGBlogger.com. He is responsible for maintaining the day to day operation of the site, editing all staff content before it is published, and contributing regular news, reviews, previews and other articles. Matt landed his first gig in the video game review business writing for the now-defunct website BonusStage.com. After the sad and untimely close of BonusStage, the former staff went on to found VGBlogger.com. After a short stint as US Site Manager for AceGamez, Matt assumed full ownership over VGBlogger, and to this day he is dedicated to making it one of the top video game blogs in all the blogosphere. Matt is a fair-minded reviewer and lover of games of all platforms and types, big or small, hyped or niche, big-budget or indie. But that doesn't mean he will let poor games slide without a good thrashing when necessary!