If you’ve followed a lot of my reviews here on Gamespace you’ll know that I’m a sucker for puzzle games. Being an old gamer, more times than not, I appreciate a brain challenge over a finger button masher. The latest puzzle game to arrive in our hopper is from the Russian publishing company OverGamez. This is the same team that gave us the wonderful puzzle platformer, Potata. Their current offering is a cube-based, sliding puzzle game called Cubicity. The question is does Cubicity deliver the puzzle goods or is it for squares only? Welcome to our Nintendo Switch review of Cubicity!
Line ‘Em Up! The Basics
Like many typical puzzle games, there is no backstory here. What you get is ninety-five levels of cube sliding puzzle fun. At the onset, you’re presented with a different level that contains one to many cute, cube-based animals (and later on people). The object of the game is to get all the cube-based animals on the level to the squares containing their associated marker, in as few moves as possible. Typically, characters move in a straight line until they run into a blockage of any sort, e.g. another cube, a fence, etc. In later levels, squares are added that can change your direction, as well as bonuses like bombs, to remove an obstruction, and ice blocks that can be placed to halt forward motion.
After you clear the level you are ranked a score of zero to three stars and awarded some gold coins. The number of coins is based on how well you did. The first issue here is that the game doesn’t do a great job of telling you how well you did. For the most part, I earned three blue stars but on some levels, I earned three gold stars and I’m not quite sure why. Was it too many moves? Did I use too many free bonuses, etc.?
There Be Gold In Them There Levels!
The gold coins can be used to buy new animals, and later on people avatars, and cosmetics for your avatars. Many of these are optional as the game gives you new animal avatars as you progress. Some of these avatars have bonuses, e.g. yields three additional moves, yields one to ten extra coins. Most of these cost thirty gold and if you earn three full stars on a level you’ll typically earn forty-five stars. So it really didn’t take long to unlock all these little critters.
You can also spend coins, about ten gold apiece, to add cosmetic items to these little guys, e.g. backpacks, dogbone, etc. A minor complaint here is you have to re-buy those for each avatar you wish to adorn the look on.
Cubicity uses a control mechanism where you need to move a flashing arrow around to select an avatar or object you wish to move. Initially, this took some getting used to. When the arrow flashes you use the joy-con sticks to select an avatar then select the “A” button to put that object into the action mode. Then you need to select “B” to go back into selection mode to select another avatar. It seems like it would have been more user-friendly to just move the arrow around and select “A” to perform a move.
The nature of the puzzles seemed to be a good fit for touch screen controls but sadly there are none. The game offers a 360-degree rotation of the levels on the horizontal plane but sadly no rotation on the vertical plane.
Oops, I Did It Again!
Oddly enough, if you restart a level you start again with different avatars on your board. The selection of initial on-board avatars seems to be randomly picked from your pool of available avatars. In some sense, you would think this makes the game seem more challenging but it really doesn’t.
Visually the game plays exceptional well in handheld mode making it a great game for on the go. The in-game music though does tend to get repetitive. So much so that sometimes I was humming the clear level music to my dog at times. Perhaps it was just a catchy melody?
The non-penalizing bonuses offered later in the game also made the levels seem semi-easy after a while, almost to the point of being slightly repetitive.