A sokoban puzzle game is one of the quintessential puzzle tropes in gaming. Namely, pushing crates to specific locations to complete the puzzle. It has been used for standalone releases to mini-games required to open locks, and everything in between.
Fluffy Cubed is a sokoban in every essence of the word, but this time around you play as a squared off cat. And as I was playing, I wanted to know the backstory of why this cat looks this way, and why it is pushing these blocks around. The internet let me down, as I was unable to find any narrative online. So, I decided to create my own.
Whiskers – as I have affectionately called him – is a small-town cat moving into the big city. His hometown village of Squaresville is proud of their heritage of keeping everything on the straight and narrow. Quite literally, the mayor of Squaresville has a strict no curves policy. But Whiskers dreams of something bigger, believing the world outside of Squaresville to offer so much more. So, he packs his belongings in cubed crates and starts looking to move away. But the moving van has requested he leaves his crates in specific locations for easy pickup access. See, the moving van has wheels which are round, so the mayor has stipulated that the number of pickup locations it can have are limited. And with 120 rooms to clear, poor Whiskers should have thought of this beforehand, as he is now trapped between the crates.
In fact, the cat in Fluffy Cubed looks a lot like Koro Nyan from the VR minigame in Judgment. I was going to try and make a metaverse connection between the two games, but by the time I could come up with anything, I had already finished Fluffy Cubed. It is a very short game, complete in less than an hour.
It helps that Fluffy Cubed is a very zen like experience, allowing your mind to drift off to such places as “Why would a cubed cat be doing this?” and “Does a cat really have the raw strength to push boxes around?”. That’s because there will be only a very few moments where you will really need to stop and think about your next plan of action. As a puzzle game, you could argue that it isn’t very puzzling, but Fluffy Cubed isn’t designed to challenge you too much.
You only need to look at the cute graphics to know this is supposed to be a relaxing game. It is minimalist with charm. The grids you can move the boxes around vary in size with each level, but the pinkish background stays constant. Pastel colours are a theme throughout.
If that wasn’t calming enough, the soundtrack definitely is. Minecraft-esque you could say, which funnily enough is another game that has aversions to curved lines.
But, perhaps Fluffy Cubed is slightly too easy. And a little too basic. There are 120 levels to complete, with many of them a complete breeze. You start off very simply, having only one box to move to a designated location, yet as you progress through the levels, more boxes are added. The last three levels have you manoeuvring seven boxes into position. Each level has multiple solutions, and due to the larger nature of the later level grids these present almost no real additional difficulty over starting grids.
Complete level 120 and the only thing that indicates that you have completed the game is the phrase ‘THIS IS THE END’ appearing on screen. It all feels very finite and ever so slightly harrowing.
Also, by finishing the 120th level, you will have unlocked every achievement that Fluffy Cubed has to offer. In fact, achievements come thick and fast, with one being awarded every fifth level. Weirdly though, rather than awarding you one for completing the level, you are awarded for reaching that particular level. You are even awarded an achievement for reaching the first level. And then at the other end, you are gifted an 80G achievement for reaching the last level, along with another 80G and a 120G achievement for finishing it. Achievement hunters will be pleased to know that Fluffy Cubed is a very quick completion.
It is tough to know who to pitch Fluffy Cubed to. Puzzle fanatics and sokoban fans will find this a rather lacklustre attempt, whilst those who prefer a more relaxing gaming experience may be put off by the fact it is a puzzle game. Similarly, feline fans may be taken aback by this cubed moggy. So, achievement hunters, if you want a very easy 1000G with gameplay that isn’t too taxing and can be completed within an hour, can I interest you in Fluffy Cubed?
The charming Fluffy Cubed is on the Xbox Store