Have you ever wondered what it was like to be trapped inside of a cube? Have you also ever wondered what it was like if you were alone in space? What about if you thought you heard voices in your head? In this puzzle game by developer Toxic Games we get the answers to these questions and more.
This game doesn’t really have to rely on the graphics, but that doesn’t mean that they are not beautiful. You basically only see blocks/cubes and your hands for the entirety of the game which look wonderful. As seen above, the colors really pop and make themselves known. There are different sets of levels that make use of the coloring. One set of puzzles is set in the dark and the only color you see is the color from the different cubes you use to complete the puzzles.
These graphics are very beautiful to me. I’m rather surprised how Toxic Games used them in not only the story, but also in the “Against the Qlock” challenges as well. The fact that only simple colors are used and most of the areas are white/gray will make fans of Portal, and Portal-like games, very happy.
The music that plays in the background has very ominous sound and makes you feel like you are truly alone. It also speeds up or slows down depending on what puzzle/environment you are in. When the different voices speak to you at various points in the game, you can hear them in the helmet of your spacesuit. The cubes make a noise when they are extended/retracted and when certain ones fall back onto the puzzle.
I personally loved the sound quality in Q.U.B.E. Director’s Cut. Anyone that has played any type of game where you are by yourself in a world/area will like this. The fact that you never see the faces of the people who are talking to you instills that ominous feeling. The only lacking thing is that there are no subtitles for when the voices do speak, but I think that Toxic Games didn’t include subtitles so that you could listen to what is going on around you in the game.
The two main voices that talk to you hear in your helmet provide the small amount of story that is present in the game. These two voices are explaining what has happened to you and why you are alone in the cube. You get filled in on more of the story during the walk or ride on elevators going to the next sector of puzzles. It also feels a bit forced on the player and could have been meatier. The jest of the story is you have been asleep for 15 days and are inside of this cube facility by yourself. You have to destroy this cube facility, that you are trapped in, before it plummets to the earth and kills everyone.
To me there should have been a bit more story to this game. Yes it is a puzzle game, but I should have a understanding of why I chosen out of all people to complete the task of destroying the cube. The fact that you somehow are the only one on this cube station is part of the bigger story. Also those voices only come in at certain times, you find out why in the early part of the game, which is an intriguing part of the story. Even though that is one way to have the story I still think they could have done a little more with it.
You use your two gloves, one on each hand, to interact with different color cubes. The color of the cubes you can interact with are red, blue, yellow, green, and purple. Each one has it’s own distinctive use for the puzzles: red expands 3 times, blue bounces things up, yellow is a set of 3 cubes that expands to a staircase, green is the only one that moves around, and purple rotates the puzzle. The whole game has its easy puzzles and the ones that will make you scratch your head which is rather fun. There is a set of puzzles that revolve around bouncing light and lighting up certain cubes.
I love the fact that you solve these puzzles by raising cubes from the ground/wall. The beginning was real easy for me, but I soon had that moment where I needed to slow down and think about which cube I should extend and how far I should do it. I would say that the physics in the game are good, but it felt like when you needed to toss a green cube, by moving it onto a blue cube, that it would always go to where it needed to go. No overshot or undershot on during any puzzles that did that. But don’t let that stop you from trying this game. Fans of Portal should buy or try this game at some point, because it feels just like Portal.
Q.U.B.E. Director’s Cut is a great puzzle game that is a Portal-like clone, but with some huge differences and a few hidden secrets/hidden puzzles are rather interesting. The game is short, around 4 hours in all, but has a whole set of challenges called “Against the Qlock” to add a small bit of replayability to the game. These 10 extra levels are based around beating a certain time and getting a gold/silver/bronze medal and add new abilities that are activated when you click or walk over them. These abilities range from running faster or jumping higher. In fact some of these challenge puzzles are harder than the ones in the story part of the game. There is even an achievement tied to these challenges. All in all Q.U.B.E. Director’s Cut is a puzzle game that you should definitely try or get when it goes on sale. It will be out on July 24th and cost $9.99 USD.