Cube Life: Island Survival (Wii U) Review

By Albert Lichi 09.07.2015

Review for Cube Life: Island Survival on Wii U

There is no mistake that Minecraft is an unbelievably popular game that has a massive following these days, and there have been many attempts to get this PC game on consoles with varying results. Since Minecraft was recently purchased by Microsoft for $2.5 billion, it would seem unlikely that it would appear on a Nintendo platform. Enter Cypronia, a developer that is best known for Angry Bunnies, one with a flair for banking on what is currently popular to provide a suspiciously similar alternative. This variation on the cube-based mining sub-genre has quite the shoes to fill, but is Cube Life: Island Survival on Wii U eShop worth it?

Anyone who has played Minecraft will feel right at home with Cube Life: Island Survival for the most part, barring the technical issues and glitches. The first thing that will be noticed when starting a game is the excessively long load times or "map generation" that lasts around a minute. When the load time ends, there is a good chance there will be a bug that will put the player-character in a drowning state regardless if he is on dry land or in the water, causing the poor devil to die a slow and agonizing, yet comical, death. Probably the first thing anyone who has played Minecraft will notice is that Cube Life actually has a story mode. The opening cut-scene illustrates an affluent traveller who got stranded on an island during his travels. There is even a hammy voice-over narration to give some context to what has to be done next, serving as a semi-tutorial, as well.

As for the survival part, it's pretty much what would be expected from this kind of title. It is unfortunate that this didn't take the opportunity to rectify some of the interface flaws that tend to happen when a game like this, which is normally played on a PC, gets ported to a console. One of the biggest opportunities missed is that Cypronia has failed to include any touch screen options whatsoever. Using the touch screen would have alleviated much of the menu fiddling, as well as giving the closest feel to 'mouse-look.'

Screenshot for Cube Life: Island Survival on Wii U

The core consists of exploring the segmented areas, digging, or breaking down low-resolution cubes for resources and then making stuff out of them. In spite of being highly derivative, Island Survival does do its job well, providing a poor-man's alternative to Minecraft. Pretty much everything is here and accounted for, like building houses (or even vehicles) and weapons or tools. Of course, things get hairy when night comes and the accumulated resources and survival skills are put to the test when natives emerge from the ocean seeking to wreck all that has been built. Naturally, the cycle begins again when the day comes and repeats once again forever until all patience is gone. Feeding and staying hydrated is a substantial part of the experience and while the need to make tools is always in demand, it can become overwhelming at times to maintain a steady flow of resources for survival.

Other than the main survival mode, there is a creation mode where complete 360-degree flight is possible for those who aim to build magnanimous structures. Granted, it is far more limited than the creation mode found in Minecraft, but its adequate for the kiddies who just wish to mess around and learn the basics of box-crafting type games. Sadly, there is no multiplayer features at all, which is obviously not accounted for as a means of keeping costs low to deliver Cube Life quickly. Multiplayer is one of the most beloved qualities that box-craft titles have and for it to be missing here seems like a massive missed opportunity.

Cube Life: Island Survival is €6.99 / $6.99 / £5.39 for an introductory period, but will then go up to €14.99 / $14.99 / £11.99. Visually, there is almost nothing distinct from this game and Minecraft, apart from the weirdly realistic water effects, bloom lighting, and overdone sun rays. This game also runs fairly poorly and has an erratic frame-rate with constant pop-up from the extremely low draw distance. There is never a moment when everything feels polished, with this feeling being compounded by the subpar performance issues, hit-detection flaws, and the aforementioned bugs, thus making this title very difficult to recommend. If bought at its introductory price, some of this may be more forgivable as it does (albeit sloppily) deliver what it promises; a poor man's Minecraft on WiiU. Anybody who really wants to play a single-player box-crafting style survival game will most likely get what they want out of Cube Life: Island Survival, but only at its current modest price.

Screenshot for Cube Life: Island Survival on Wii U

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 5 out of 10


Cube Life: Island Survival may be a low-tier Minecraft clone, but offers plenty of content. Rife with bugs and generally performing poorly, the core game of survival is thankfully intact, and amenities expected for crafting are all accounted for. This is a very rough and slapped together product and if bought at the introductory lower price, it is at least fair. Minecraft may never come to Wii U now that Microsoft owns it, so Cube Life: Island Survival will just have to do for now.









C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

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


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