There aren’t many games that can claim to be physically irritating, but SuperHyperCube can take its place among that rarified group. Kokoromi’s trippy shape-matching game is beautiful, sure, but its only application of VR is to obfuscate your task as you manoeuvre an ever-growing mass of blocks through increasingly complex gaps. The result is a game that might well give you a crick in the neck.
That’s not to say it isn’t initially charming. You start every round with a single cube that you can rotate on three axes, travelling forward through a neon-tinged vacuum from which walls, punctured with holes, emerge. The first one contains, simply enough, a corresponding cube-shaped hole. Once you pass through it, two more cubes are attached to your starting block in a random orientation, after which a new wall appears, this time with a marginally more complex aperture to be squeezed through. The process continues until your geometric mass gets so unwieldy that you inevitably crash into the wall and (hopefully) post a new high score.
You have a couple of special abilities to help eke out more distance. The first, Hyperfocus, briefly pauses the cluster’s progress, changing its colour to a high-contrast black-and-white scheme in the process and making it easier to find the right orientation. Smash, meanwhile, allows for the destruction of a wall if its solution eludes you. You gain access to these powers by boosting, each confident rush forward adding to the corresponding meters. However, you’ll need to fill the Hyperfocus ability before you can start on Blast, so using the former before the latter is topped up will set you back – an additional layer of risk/reward tension to consider.
SuperHyperCube’s simple visuals and design make it feel like a scaled-up mobile survival challenge in the vein of Super Hexagon, but its focus on your ability to see around the mess of blocks between you and the encroaching wall – as opposed to raw skills and reaction speed – reduces its appeal, especially when you’re fluking your way through certain sections, leaving an unsatisfying taste behind. In addition, despite your cube’s evolution, there’s little sense of building momentum as you progress – the backgrounds change and it becomes tougher to see what you’re doing, but it feels oddly muted even 50 or 60 levels into a run.
SuperHyperCube is a slick production, but its rewards can feel outstripped by the effort required to play it – especially at PSVR’s launch, among so many offerings grasping for your attention. The zen-like pacing and stimulating visuals have an allure of their own, but as a whole the game fails to deliver the kind of replay value associated with the puzzle genre’s giants.
SuperHyperCube’s smart UI combines a simple, easy-to-read HUD with a neon representation of your controller that you can move into your field of view at any time to check the controls. The colourful backdrops are intense Developer Kokoromi Publisher Polytron Format PSVR Release Out now