Review: Cubed Reloaded
Time for some puzzling fun to kick off the week. Move your block through an isometric world and collect the tiles and reach the exit. While Cubed Reloaded isn't going to break new ground in terms of design, control, or ambition, it does achieve what it sets out to do with a sense of style.
Version Reviewed: 220.127.116.11
Cubed Reloaded asks you to move your little target block around an isometric landscape towards the exit hole. But you can only successfully reach the red 'exit' tile and finish the level by passing through and collecting all the regular tiles in the game grid. Any solid colour tile (white, blue, green, and so on) must be passed over.
The majority of a level will be made up of white tiles to collect (and translucent grey tiles that aren't required to complete the level, but may be needed to move around and navigate the space). Once you move, you'll find the twist of the game - these tiles will fall away once you step off them. You cannot backtrack your path, so think carefully before you start moving.
The other coloured tiles all have different properties. For example, the blue tile acts as a switch, stepping on it will result in a number of blue tiles appearing elsewhere on the level, acting as a bridge to another section, or giving you some extra squares to move around on. Naturally, these new bridge sections will also fall away once you step off them, so try not to leave yourself stranded.
Other tiles will need to be stepped on multiple times before they disappear, reveal more white tiles, act as teleporters, or leave you stuck and controlling a second 'ghost' tile in another part of the level.
It takes some time, but once you start getting into the 'teen' levels you realise that whoever has designed these levels has a rather sadistic mind, which will only be confirmed when you hit level twenty.
With just thirty five levels, Cubed Reloaded looks to be a bit short in terms of levels, but there are two in-game tweaks to keep your brain wondering what to do next. The first is a simple matter of rotation. When displaying each level, Cubed Reloaded will chose one of the four orientations to be 'up' on the screen, and this will change every time you re-start the level. Technically it's the same level, but it's enough to make my brain skip a process or two and re-evaluate what's going on.
Secondly is the positioning of the white tiles. These are not always in the same place, so restarting a level will not give you the exact same puzzle to solve because of these shifting tiles.
Part of me thinks this destroys the idea of a 'level' but at the same time it adds to the replay-ability of the game, and I think that benefit outweighs the lingering thoughts of being cheated out of working out a level by trial and error.
You have two choices to control your block. Each corner of the screen has a direction arrow which you can press to move one tile in that direction. This is super accurate, but can be a bit slow. The alternative is to swipe the screen in the direction you want your block to go. This is faster, but if you are not careful you can push yourself over an edge and fall off a tile into the void, forcing you to restart the level.
Perhaps that's the only thing missing in the controls. There is no restart button, you'll need to commit suicide to return to the start. That's a perfectly acceptable way to do it, but I would have preferred a great big "I've got it horribly wrong" button.
Cubed Reloaded is a nice little puzzle game. It's not a title that will have me switching to the Windows Phone platform, but as I'm already in the ecosystem it's a well put together game, which has had care and attention on the presentation, and some thought on how to ensure it retains appeal through the life of the game. It's very much a genre-specific recommendation, but a recommendation nonetheless.
Reviewed by Ewan Spence at