Portal (& Portal 2) have been hailed as ground-breaking puzzle games, and they offer a great challenge for one’s brain… while simultaneously trying to melt it. I honestly thought no other puzzle game could compete with it… Until I played Q.U.B.E.
Q.U.B.E is another physics based puzzle game; manipulating the environment to reach the next section. To do this, you are given a pair of glowing gloves, which are used to interact with various coloured cubes. Each cube has a different function; Red cubes can be extended and retracted, yellow cubes (which are always in sets of three) extend to form a staircase, blue cubes retract to form a launch pad, and so on.
The experimentation side of the game is what makes it entertaining; manipulating the different cubes, and developing a solution to reach the goal. Solving the conundrums had a different, and much more inventive feel to them compared to Portal.
There isn’t really a plot to this game, and I played quite a bit of it.
You wake up on an elevator made of white cubes, with no name, no identity, and no idea why you’re at this strange location. You just see you have some gloves on, and you make your way through an almost white labyrinth of corridors, cubes and chambers. In some occasions, I’ve made my way down a corridor, and the walls suddenly moved themselves, directing me down a completely different location. It might not seem much, but it’s quite an intriguing set piece. You start to think whether there is some sort of entity watching you, tracking your every move. The smallest designs can sometimes have the biggest impact.
Now, while the game is set in an all-white complex, that doesn’t mean the graphics aren’t lacking. It’s crisp and very atmospheric. Even when my computer runs on the higher settings there is no indication of lag. The animations all run very smoothly… and my laptop is prone to lag. So if my computer can handle it, any laptop or PC can run it with ease.
This is a very stimulating, and engaging challenge. It doesn’t insult your intelligence, nor does it make you feel like you should be wearing a dunce cap while playing.
I have to give extra kudos to the developers, Toxic games, as they were helped by Indie Fund. This is essentially an independent game, and it’s able to keep up with the big players like Valve and Portal. Well worth a try, in my opinion.
OS:Windows XP SP2 / Vista / 7
Processor:2.0+ GHz (dual core recommended) Memory:1 GB RAM
Graphics:NVIDIA 8000 series or higher (Shader Model 3 Compatible)
DirectX®:dx90c Hard Drive:1 GB HD space
For more info visit: www.qube-game.com