It’s possible to be too minimalist
$0.99 From Dilmer Valecillos, dilmergames.com 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.