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Posted by drew10 on Jul 26, 2015
Q.U.B.E Directors Cut

Q.U.B.E Directors Cut

The original Q.U.B.E. (‘Quick Understanding of Block Extrusion’) was a very good little puzzle game that perhaps lacked a little personality. It seems this was a view shared by the games creators Toxic Games as we now have the definitive ‘director’s cut’ edition. Featuring all new puzzles, a somewhat peculiar back-story and a multi-format release are we finally seeing this puzzler come of age?

Published by Grip Games, who also also published the excellent Tower of Guns, Q.U.B.E. (or Qube as I will now refer to it owing to the fact it’s less of a pain to type) is a brilliantly executed puzzle game which takes a fair bit of inspiration from Portal. The level design follows a very similar premise, you enter at one end and have to solve various puzzles in order to reach the door at the far side of the room and thus move onto the next area. Q.U.B.E. Directors CutThe game is split into six sections with various rooms in each. Unlike Portal however, you don’t use a gun to traverse the levels, in Qube you have gloves which are able to manipulate the various coloured blocks that are sparsely placed around the white rooms. Each different block performs a different function. Red blocks extend, yellow create a staircase-like structure, blue is a springboard etc. etc. As you progress through the levels the rooms become more complex with a greater number of block combinations needed to safely make it through. Qube has an almost perfect difficulty curve but some of the later levels get bastard hard, yet despite this you just can’t put it down. Expect some teeth marks in your controller! This new version of the game also adds a new game mode called ‘Against the Qlock’ which is pretty much as it sounds. Complete levels against the clock and post your times online to be challenged or admired hated by your friends.

Apart from the new levels the other main difference between the director’s cut and the original game is the the narrative story that underpins your reasons for being here. Again taking a very heavy cue from Valve’s masterpiece you are guided through the game by a disembodied voice who gradually discloses your reasons for needing to make it to the end. You wake up with amnesia in this white room, the voice helpfully explains that you are on an Alien Spaceship on a collision course with Earth and you need to get through the levels to stop it. Not-so-helpful however is the fact that this person is on the International Space Station and can only share snippets of information with for a few seconds every time they orbit the Earth. Whilst the story adds a little depth to the game it is really superfluous to the overall experience. Q.U.B.E. Directors CutStill, the voice acting is of a high standard and that always helps in setting a mood. As the story progresses though all maybe not what it first appears.

Graphically Qube is minimalist with the off-white rooms punctuated with the coloured blocks, this doesn’t impact on the quality of the visuals however which are excellent throughout. The rooms do change as you progress and light and darkness come into play. The audio is also minimalist with some really nice chilled sounds and music serving the feel of the game well and as already mentioned the voice acting standard is extremely high.

I played the Xbox One version for this review and while perfectly decent there are sections where you can tell that this game was designed for a mouse and keyboard. There are certain points when you are jumping through the air or balancing on a platform where you need to click a button but find yourself hitting every area but. A mouse would enable you more accuracy with the site that is simply not afforded to a pad. It is a small gripe but one that can prove extremely frustrating and becomes more apparent as the levels increase in difficulty. It doesn’t at any point make the game unplayable it just adds an unexpected level of difficulty to an already challenging title.

Overall Q.U.B.E. Director’s Cut is a great puzzle game and this directors cut adds so much to the original premise and apart from the small gripe with the control it is an essential purchase, especially at only £7.99.

Q.U.B.E. Director’s cut is out now on Xbox One, PS4 and Steam with a WiiU release coming in August!

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