Q.U.B.E was initially released as a first person puzzle title for the PC. When Q.U.B.E: Director’s Cut first got announced I was instantly drawn to its simplistic yet attractive visual style. I never had the chance to play this title on its first outing, so I got my brain in training and took this title for a spin.
Q.U.B.E: Director’s Cut doesn’t just bring the original game to consoles, it also adds a story element to the title as well. It’s easy to compare Q.U.B.E to portal as things do feel familiar but it is a title that can stand beside Portal rather than just being another clone. The game starts off with you waking up in a cubed room having no idea how you got there or how to get out. As you move from room to room the story slowly unfolds as to why you are there via short radio conversations with a lady on the international space station. It appears it is an alien space craft heading towards the earth and the only way to destroy it is to solve a number of puzzles which will destroy the ship from the inside. A second communicator appears as you get further into the puzzle solving and will have you questioning who is telling you the truth. What I like about the story is that there is no speech from your character, yet the story still held me interested to the very end.
With a well written story the only way this title was going to fail was its puzzle elements. I am glad to say that the game pretty much excels and will give your brain a great little workout without things becoming frustrating. There were only a couple of puzzles I can say I got stuck at making this one of the best in the field after Portal. Some puzzles will feel simple and then other will throw you a bit as you need to think outside the box. The game has seven sectors with each sector introducing you to a new puzzle element. Things start off simple with the use of primary colour coded cubes each having their own purpose. Puzzles soon start to get more inventive and complicated the deeper you travel. Other puzzles include navigating balls through mazes which are really fun especially the one in a hidden room in sector five. Then you have magnets and even mirrors to reflect beams of light. I really enjoyed the use of primary colour scheme to turn balls and beams of light into secondary colours.
There are a couple of secret rooms to discover in the game which host puzzles of their own. The first one I discovered my brain wasn’t up to the task, but there was a great puzzle in a secret room in sector five. It had you using blocks to control a ball through a maze. To find the secret rooms you will need to look closely as you will be able to tell by looking at the wall as well as ledges that just seem to lead to walls. This game is really fun to just explore your surroundings.
As well as the main game you can also take on a mode called Against The Qlock. This pits you against ten different courses with various obstacles that require quick reaction and quick thinking. There are three medals to achieve on each that will go towards opening up the others. I have to say that I really enjoy taking on the courses and they are so different from the puzzle rooms but very well designed. I have only managed to open up five of the ten due to the number of medals needed. So far I am really digging Neon Nightmare with its luminescent colour scheme. This section of the game stands out due to its much faster pace.
When it comes to the graphics of Q.U.B.E: Director’s Cut at first glance they look quite simple, but it’s not until you start playing the game you realise that this was a great move. Toxic games have really done a great job on how the graphic techniques gives the game a futuristic feel and also install a sense of loneliness. As you get more than half way into the game there is a great use of how light is used in dark rooms and corridors. In terms of the audio the voiceovers do a great job, with my only wish being more music was used when things are quite in the main game. The Against The Qlock mode though has great upbeat background music.
The Good Things
- An outstanding puzzle game.
- Simple yet very effective graphics.
- Against The Qlock mode is great.
And The Bad
- I can’t get enough and want more.
- It’s a little on the short side.
- Q.U.B.E: Director’s Cut is a top notch puzzle adventure that can stand beside Portal rather than just being another clone. I really dig the fact that the pace of the single player story is different from the Against The Qlock mode. The graphics may be simplistic but they do install a sense of loneliness, fitting with the games story. The puzzles are challenging but never to the point of frustration. If you liked Portal you will like this game.
Well thought out puzzles give your brain a challenge without getting frustrating.