Xbox Indie Games are kind of concealed on the Xbox 360. I’d happily take a bet and say that no more than 20% of Xbox gamers have even looked into the Indie market let alone download a game from there. The fact you can’t gain achievements and gamerscore from them just increasing the chance of them not being touched. But those who have had a peek will know that there are a few little gems to be found hidden away with one of the latest to try its luck being Cubicity. We managed to grab an exclusive Q&A with the creators before reviewing the game so you may wish to have a read of that first.
Coming from the guys over at Brush and Code, Cubicity is a puzzle game with a slight twist. The protagonist, Seamus, doesn’t walk his way around the levels. Neither does he fly, for Seamus is left hanging from a rope after jumping down a hole in the ground! He does however have a magnet to hand and he will need to use this to lift, drop and move metal boxes around in order to escape each level. The story is basic at best, but we aren’t here for the story, we want puzzles and with 60 levels of ever increasing difficulty, we have plenty of those to look forward to.
Whilst there is no tutorial as such, the first few stages walk you through proceedings easily enough and you soon get a grip of what is needed to complete each stage. Understanding that the more boxes you lift at once, the lower you will get, whilst dropping boxes in certain places activates switches and the like is key to getting around in Cubicity. With five slightly differing worlds, the promise of a new improved weapon with each world and signs of some Portalesque touches, there should be enough to keep you busy for a good few hours at the very least.
And a few hours is actually what turns out to be the case. Whilst the first time I reviewed Cubicity I was coming across issues, bugs and errors galore, I’m pleased to announce that shortly after the review went live, Cubicity was pulled from the market for a few weeks. It has had the relevant sticky plasters attached and thankfully things are now a lot more stable. Gone are the errors and for the most part it seems to be pretty bug free. For an Indie developer, the decision to pull their game from the market must have been a tough one, but Brush and Code most certainly did the right thing.
Whilst the game mechanics are reasonable enough, the precision needed to pick up certain boxes can still sometimes border on frustration. When you do get hold of one, dropping it in a certain spot is also a little hit and miss. These are basic gameplay fundamentals which should really work perfectly but even after the massive fix, this precision issue comes back to haunt the game time and time again.
Brush and Code have high hopes of porting the game over to the mobile scene and my first thoughts are that it would thrive on that platform. It’s not a bad game and for the price is worth a little gander, especially if you have nothing else to do for the evening but I still think that it would probably be best holding out for the mobile version and partaking in shorter ten minute sessions whilst ‘on the move’
The graphics are superbly crisp, the whole thing is well presented and a good few of the puzzles are interesting enough to bring out the ‘aha’ moment, but in the same breath, there’s plenty of frustration hiding just round the corner ready to smack the enthusiasm out of you.
Don’t expect it to be a world beater, but for a couple of quid, it’s worth a play.
Cubicity can be picked up from the Xbox Live Indie Marketplace for £1.99. Have a search for it on your Xbox 360 console or head over to the Xbox Games Store to download it now.
Update: We have reached out to Brush and Code mentioning the issues received. If a patch hits the game to solve the crashes, we will be more than happy to update this review.
Update 2: We’ve heard back from Brush and Code and as it currently stands, Cubicity has been pulled from the market until the fixes take place. We’ve asked to be kept updated and will therefore re-review once it goes live again. Keep watching for further updates.
Update 3: Cubicity is now back on the Indie marketplace and this review has been altered to reflect it’s new bug-free existence.