Q.U.B.E is an interesting first person indie puzzle game that will have your mind twisting around as you try to solve a series of physics based puzzles. The game was originally released on Steam in December 2011 and was eventually ported to other devices in the years that followed. Q.U.B.E: Director’s Cut is a new version of the original game that includes challenges, more story elements, and even support for the Oculus Rift for next-gen platforms. Similar to other first person games like Portal, you will have to piece together parts of a story that ends up being much more than what it seems at first glance.
I won’t spoil any parts of the story because it’s very interesting and needs to be experienced first-hand. What I will definitely say is that the story is an extra layer on top of a solid puzzle game that is unique in many ways. You take control of cubes using special gloves that allow for a number of functions.
You can push, pull, and reset blocks in order to reach an exit at the end of each puzzle stage. There are occasional sections where it’s required to guide a sphere into a goal before continuing on through a level. This adds variety to the puzzles and keeps things fresh along the way.
The puzzles themselves get increasingly difficult as you go along and don’t always have the most obvious solution. The physics of the game are solid and are implemented well for figuring out solutions to each of the game’s levels. I found myself constantly trying to “think outside the box” to find solutions to puzzles that looked difficult at first.
Manipulating a series of cubes one way might have multiple effects on the puzzle as a whole, so you find yourself constantly tinkering with what is available to you. Exploration of how things work is eventually rewarded when you find the solution to a puzzle.
The overall aesthetic of the game draws a lot of similarities to a game like Portal, because of its monochromatic level design and unnerving atmosphere. This doesn’t mean that the game is a cookie-cutter kind of game, but rather an experience that draws a lot of parallels to it.
You’re give dialogue over communicator from various characters that give hints at the overarching story that plays out through each puzzle. The mood and feeling gets darker alongside the look of the puzzles as you continue through sections of the game.
Those who loved playing through Portal and Portal 2 will definitely want to give Q.U.B.E: Director’s Cut a try. The same kind of atmosphere and gameplay that made those games so special can be found here as well. There are a few issues in some of the later levels, but they are almost nonexistent throughout the rest of the game.
The puzzles in each level are clever and are satisfying when you discover the solutions to solving them. If you like puzzle titles with a bit of extra substance to them, you really can’t go wrong with this game.
This review was based on a digital copy of Q.U.B.E: Director’s Cut for PlayStation 4 provided by Grip Games.