Cubit: The Hardcore Platformer Robot

Less a platform runner than an endless loop of death, Cubit is a truly testing platformer from one-man studio CoderChild.

The concept's simple enough: your character is moving forward and there are just two moves to make - jump and double-jump.

Mastering the timing of each jump while avoiding obstacles pulsing to the beat of the background music is what the core gameplay is all about. Easier said than done, though.

Cubit is as unforgiving as a game can be. Jump to a platform above you, nick the corner of it on the way up and perpetual motion doesn't push you on to the platform, oh no - your character just drops into the abyss below, yelling some variant of "yaaargh," "aaah," or "awwww."

You'll be hearing those often.

If at first you don't succeed...

Cubit's look and background beats are minimalistic, but they still earworm their way inside your mind, producing the Tetris effect.

There are six areas in total, with both the first and second two areas having paths that branch off, OutRun-style.

Soft Mode is all that's open to you at first, although it's anything but. I'm not sure I can admit to how many tries it took me to brute force my way through the map, but I could thanks to the tally of deaths in the bottom screen. Hint: near four figures.

As with any "hardcore" game, especially those of yore, each death elucidates as much as it infuriates. The skills you pick up after the first hour or two make the eventual payoff of hitting each checkpoint all worthwhile.

The forgiving aspects of this mode are the two checkpoints you hit as you make your way through, which save as restore points for your current and future playthroughs as soon as you reach them.

Hardcore mode, once unlocked, is something else. No-one asked for this. Limited to just three lives, you must make your way to one of the three ends of the map. No checkpoints.

Six stars can be picked up by deftly defying gravity with double-jumping shenanigans in Hardcore mode, but surely no-one will ever collect them all to find out what they do.

24 challenges exist to egg players on to hit high scores and complete each route, but fans of DS and Wii indie games might be slightly more encouraged by the promise of five unlockable characters. They aren't quite BIT.TRIP Runner-level cameos, and their art style are incongruous with Cubit's design, but they're a welcome addition nonetheless.

... die, die again

Worryingly, Cubit does suffer from the slightest touch of slowdown at points. Normally, this would be fine, but in a hardcore platformer where every millisecond counts, this niggle is disappointing.

As one would expect, you can flick on the 3D mode to have platforms pop out from the background, but this proves more off-putting than useful.

If you're a glutton for punishment and need a quick game to psyche you up it's a fine distraction worth the few bob it's asking for.

Did I mention it's hard though? As nails?

Cubit: The Hardcore Platformer Robot

Cubit lives up to its title as being hard to the core. It's a neat little platformer, but expect little more
Danny Russell
Danny Russell
After spending years in Japan collecting game developers' business cards, Danny has returned to the UK to breed Pokemon. He spends his time championing elusive region-exclusive games while shaking his fist at the whole region-locking thing.