Making a tie-in for a popular TV quiz show is always a tricky prospect. After all, not that much effort is required to make a profit thanks to the general populace likely to pick it up without checking reviews first. Does the developer save on costs by scrimping on the quality for maximum profit, or spend that extra bit of time creating something as faithful to the original source material as possible? With that in mind, Cubed3 takes a look at the Nintendo 3DS eShop version of The Cube, based upon the UK hit quiz TV programme.
Win seven consecutive challenges and claim the maximum prize of £250,000! Or not, as the case may be in The Cube on Nintendo 3DS eShop, since there is no monetary reward for taking part, only money spent on the product itself. Now, however, rather than around the £15 on Wii, Fun Box Media has sensibly made this available to a wider market via the Nintendo 3DS eShop download service for a mere £7.19.
Just as with the Wii version, there are over thirty challenges to take part in (some new for 3DS), which involve standing in a glass box and having tests of memory, reactions, dexterity, speed and more. Modes that involved waggling the Wii Remote before - such as trying to bounce balls into containers and upwards to break glass or even throwing discs into slots - have been replaced with touch screen alternatives. Sadly, though, they do not always work quite as smoothly as hoped.
Before each task, a video is shown with The Voice and The Body from the show acting out how best to complete the objective at hand, and there is also the opportunity to either have a trial run or simplify things slightly (thankfully this is limited, so as to avoid removing the fun!). With nine lives available for an entire round, missions include swiftly tapping on squares as they light up, rolling a ball into a particular zone at the perfect time, carefully rotating the camera to keep an eye on a moving square, tracing out paths after viewing them for a split second, memorising patterns, and so on. There is an impressive amount packed in, and whilst the touch screen sliding tasks frustrate at times, the rest of the button input challenges are far better and bring home the feel of the game show as well as can be expected.
Multiplayer challenges and head-to-head modes (seven random games, with each taking turns with one life to see who is best), statistical tracking, multiple profiles for family members, and an 'Extreme' mode that unlocks after progressing far enough - there is plenty here in the value stakes. Okay, visually The Cube does nothing more than the basics to mimic the appearance of the game show, but that is perfectly acceptable for what it is; a tie-in. Aurally it does the business as well, with the included voiceover work being pleasingly clear - nothing more, nothing less than what was expected. All-in-all, anyone looking for a test of their skills, and those families that love the TV show, will certainly be pleased with what The Cube has to offer.
Testing reflexes, speed, memory and more across a variety of intricate puzzles, The Cube faithfully recreates the challenges of the TV show, with only minor touch screen control issues holding it back.
Whilst there is not much to look at in terms of graphics, the cube where players are contained is accurately recreated from the show, and the video clips for demos of how an objective must be completed are clear despite being compressed from the original Wii version.
Music and sound effects are again lifted perfectly from the quiz show on TV, meaning that long-term fans will be thoroughly at home, especially with The Voice talking players through what is required.
This is where things fall down slightly, as although there are over thirty challenges and multiplayer modes, there are no online scoreboards to face off against the rest of the country to see who really is best at The Cube. Also, the motivation for repeated play-throughs mainly comes down to whether or not the family unit are big enough fans of the programme itself.
The Cube on Wii was impressive as far as TV tie-ins go, but now in its portable format on the Nintendo 3DS eShop, and for a mere £7.19 in the UK (7.99 Euros), it is great fun for all the family. Recreating the original source material very well indeed and not scrimping on content, this is one of the better eShop quiz releases. Only some poor touch screen implementation and a lack of motivation for constantly coming back to replay to better scores mar what is otherwise a faithful accompaniment to The Cube on TV.