Cu­biques 2

It’s pos­si­ble to be too min­i­mal­ist

Mac|Life - - CONTENTS - Kate Gray

$0.99 From Dilmer Vale­cil­los, Made for iPhone, iPad Needs iOS 8.0 or later

Min­i­mal­ist iOS puz­zle games must be big mon­ey­mak­ers, be­cause the App Store is swamped with them. They’re rel­a­tively easy to make — two or three col­ors, one cube, sev­eral lev­els to go through (and you could even make the lev­els in­fin­itely pro­ce­du­rally gen­er­ated for ul­ti­mate cus­tomer value). And yet, for the peo­ple who love them, each of­fers some­thing new, and so they keep com­ing.

Cu­biques 2 is the se­quel to Cu­biques, a game that came out in June — tes­ta­ment to how quickly th­ese games can be made. It’s pretty much a text­book ver­sion of a min­i­mal­ist cube-based puz­zle game, and al­though there’s noth­ing in­her­ently wrong with that, it’s also noth­ing ground­break­ing, nor is it a par­tic­u­larly good ver­sion of those puz­zles.

In the game, you con­trol any num­ber of cubes by sim­ple swipes, aim­ing to get them to a fi­nal po­si­tion marked by a white square on a black back­ground — the mod­ern equiv­a­lent of those rolling ball maze puz­zles. How­ever, be­cause the vi­su­als are so sim­ple, it’s fre­quently dif­fi­cult to see where the gaps in each maze are. The but­tons to restart or quit are also frus­trat­ingly ob­tuse, rep­re­sented as they are by small squares in­stead of rec­og­niz­able sym­bols.

There’s noth­ing wrong with a min­i­mal­ist aes­thetic, but not at the cost of playa­bil­ity, which is sadly what’s hap­pened with Cu­biques 2.

The bot­tom line. A rel­a­tively en­joy­able puz­zle game let down by its in­sis­tence on be­ing so min­i­mal­ist.


Un­so­phis­ti­cated graph­ics can make it dif­fi­cult to see what you’re aim­ing for.

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