Cubixx HD (PC) Review

By Thom Compton 13.03.2016

Review for Cubixx HD on PC

When a studio has a catalogue like Laughing Jackal, it's easy to be considered somewhat of an underground legend. While it has never had tremendous mainstream success, it has an excellent assortment of games, predominately of PS mini releases, on its resumé. The most famous entry is Cubixx, a mini on the PS3, which has now received the HD treatment on PC. How much fun is cutting into a 3D box, though? It turns out it is immensely fun, actually! Welcome to the review of Cubixx HD

The basic concept of Cubixx HD is extremely inventive on its own merit. Using a laser, players must cut pieces out of the titular cube. There is a set percentage of the cube to be cut into, and enemies appear on the faces of the cube aiming to destroy the gamer. It's a genuinely original concept that feels very fresh indeed. Perhaps it's just the relative obscurity this has found itself in that makes it feel so new, but it's refreshing, nonetheless.

The aforementioned enemies come in a variety of types, although they all generally hunt the laser line. Some chase the player down their line, while others try to collide with the line to break it. It's intense and the enemies, whether random or on a set path, will keep you on your toes for the many hours that will be invested in this delightful puzzler. Hours are important to factor in, as the action is hard. While the opening five levels are fairly laidback, the rest are fiendish. Enemies get very fast and very accurate, and the goal gets steeper and steeper. While it sounds very rudimentary on paper, the difficulty still manages to be enjoyable and engaging.

Screenshot for Cubixx HD on PC

Graphically, Cubixx HD is an odd one, in that the cube almost seems like a TV screen for the enemies to exist on. It's not a bad style to use, but it's just odd, which again drives the point of the whole shebang home. There's really nothing else quite like it, and even though the minimalism can sometimes teeter on boring, it's still an amazing accomplishment to show so little, yet feel so full.

Unfortunately, nothing is perfect, and Cubixx HD doesn't escape from this. The player moves along the edges of the cube, activating their laser and drifting onto the cube's faces. This works well, at first, but coming to the corners of the cube means aiming your laser has to be slow and precise, or there is a risk of going in the wrong direction. With the speed needed to tackle each cube, slow and precise is often out of the question.

Another issue is the enemies that move on a random path. They are often wildly erratic, which can lead to failure even during the most meticulously planned cuts. The difficulty usually feels empowering, like climbing a mountain or crossing a dangerous river. When these random enemies decide to charge at your laser, despite previously moving away from it, it almost seems unfair. The other modes are mostly filler, although Challenge is often engrossing. Score Attack and Time Attack are some videogame staples featured, but they don't add very much at all to the experience. Then there is Line Attack, which is too frustrating to start with, yet the idea does eventually become something the player is working with, not against.

Screenshot for Cubixx HD on PC

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

There's no reason to really explore outside of the main game, aside from Challenge mode. While the controls could use some fine tuning, this is a wildly creative title. Too often, being very creative means the end result is a mess, yet it can be said without doubt that this isn't a problem Cubixx HD ever suffers from. While casual puzzlers will definitely get turned off by the difficulty, those who like a good challenge will find a fun and deep idea here that is well worth exploring.

Developer

Laughing Jackal

Publisher

Ghostlight

Genre

Puzzle

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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