HomeReviews4.5/5 ReviewQ.U.B.E. 10th Anniversary Review

Q.U.B.E. 10th Anniversary Review

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Q.U.B.E. – Quick Understanding of Block Extrusion – was a little indie puzzler that came out in 2012. Now, in 2022 we find it celebrating a special 10th birthday, as some all-new content, added narrative and funky new visuals are thrown in. 

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Originally the game was a final student project for three developers at Newport University who didn’t actually do any of the programming. From there it sold well on Steam, there was a Director’s Cut edition of the game and then a sequel – Q.U.B.E. 2 – in 2017. Now the game is out again but totally revamped.

Q.U.B.E. 10th Anniversary takes the original game and then rebuilds it, from the ground up, adding in new features. You will find new chapters and puzzles featuring an added six hours or so of gameplay to the original game. There are also added features like a fascinating director’s commentary throughout the levels. If you haven’t played this game before and love puzzlers in the vein of Portal then this is a must-play for you. If you’ve played Q.U.B.E. before, but like me have pretty much forgotten everything about it, the 10th Anniversary edition will feel like running through a new game anyway. 

There is an added story here in Q.U.B.E. 10th Anniversary, one that is told through voice-over radio transmissions. The idea is that you are in space – somewhere near Jupiter – and are traversing a special test area with alien technology. You are to partake in a series of tests or puzzles to allow your freedom. But you have no idea why you are here or how you got there. But later on, you soon begin to question whether you can trust the information you are getting… The added narrative is very good and drip feeds the information nicely to ensure that you will be kept inquisitive and fascinated throughout. 

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But Q.U.B.E. is all about puzzle solving and using different coloured blocks to achieve this goal. It’s played in the first person and you have a pair of gloves that can manipulate and control blocks in this test suite. For example, a red box can be extended outwards and made smaller. A blue box can be activated so that when you stand on it, or when something is placed on it, it springs high into the air. Yellow boxes give you stairs and green boxes can be summoned at machines for use in puzzles. It seems complicated but really it is a simple concept to grasp when playing.  

What the game does is introduce this coloured block dynamic before twisting and turning each and every puzzle into dastardly levels of difficulty. New items are introduced as you get through each sector or chapter. In one sector a rolling ball is introduced which you have to guide using the blocks to a special point, opening the doors to the next puzzle. In another sector, a robotic drone should be guided through a maze to help it unlock the door at the end. Every now and again little new gameplay dynamics are introduced and these ensure that Q.U.B.E. rarely feels boring, even though at times it can get undoubtedly feel very hard. 

Other new features added to this 10th Anniversary edition come in the ability to replay the original 2012 version of the game if you want to as well. There are also collectibles spread through the sectors that require an extra kind of brain magic to work out how to get them…  good luck with that. Overall, it’s a great package for the money and the number of hours of gameplay you have on offer. 

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The updated visual package makes a huge difference, especially in terms of textures and lighting. It looks great and there is a real contrast between the 2012 and 2022 versions of the game. The audio has also had an upgrade with some great voice-over and a superb atmospheric soundtrack. The director’s commentary is also worth listening to as it’s very informative about the concept and process. 

Q.U.B.E. 10th Anniversary is a game you’ll find hard to put down – even if you played the original a decade ago. This one is worth picking up for the extra content, improved visuals, and audio and so if you haven’t played Q.U.B.E. before but love a puzzler, this is a must buy. 

Q.U.B.E. 10th Anniversary is on the Xbox Store

Gareth Brierley
Gareth Brierleyhttp://www.garethbrierley.co.uk
I am an actor and a writer. I act quite a bit on stage, a little bit on tv and never on tuesdays. I have had some of my writing published and have written for TV and stage. I have been playing games since they begun and don't seem to be getting any better.
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