Game Reviews

The Cube

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| The Cube
The Cube
| The Cube

Some Saturday night televisual extravaganzas would make for better smartphone game experiences than others.

Few of us would want to sit through a dour medical examination game featuring the digitized faces of every jobbing British actor out there, but there are certain game shows that might just work as interactive entertainment.

One such show is The Cube, a Philip Schofield-fronted physical trial that sees contestants taking on various tasks set for them by the titular cube.

It already has a level based structure, plenty of variety, and a bite-sized format that should mean it fits perfectly into your pocket.

Unfortunately, The Cube has a few rough edges that prevent it from being the first essential game based on a television game show since Going for Gold on the ZX spectrum.

No polygonal Schofield

The first thing you'll notice about The Cube is that it's got the feel of the television show spot on. It's all stark colours and ominous red lights, and it manages to make you think that you're starring in your own personal episode.

The game is split into two modes: Practice and Challenge. Practice, unsurprisingly, lets you try out the 18 different trials The Cube has to offer.

Challenge on the other hand sets you seven of the tasks at random. Complete them all and you win a hypothetical slab of cash.

You have nine lives, and once they're gone it's Game Over. You can also take a trial run of any of the seven levels, and simplify one of them too.

Count to ten

The different challenges all have slightly different control methods, which are explained in a screen you can click on before you enter the cube.

Some require you to bounce balls into buckets, others need you to stop coloured bars moving across the floor in a specific place, whilst others still need you to stop an invisible clock after ten seconds have passed.

Some of them work well - especially the ones that require little or no dexterity on your part. One in particular, which sees you jabbing an on-screen button when the floor of the cube turns from white to red, is far more fraught than it has any right to be.

Where the game falls down is with some of the more physically taxing levels, the one that sees you bouncing a ball off two pillars into a bucket being the worst offender.

You have to manipulate the position of the ball by tilting your phone, then tap the screen to throw it - a complicated and unintuitive system that jars with the rest of the game.

Oh, balls

You can understand what All3Media was trying to do with the ball-throwing challenges, but it hasn't quite managed to pull it off. Translating physical movements onto a smartphone is always difficult, and you can't help thinking that a more abstract attempt might have fared better.

It's a shame, because The Cube shows some real promise. When it gets things right it's an interesting, immensely playable game that has a lot to recommend it, but the moments of frustration are just too frequent to make it a must buy.

The Cube

The Cube is a decent collection of puzzles and tasks that's let down by some physical challenges that just don't work on the small screen