Break’s over. Time to get back to work. Unless that theory that my friends and I talked about is proven true where I am at my most productive during December. Anyway, moving on before I truly go off topic and forget what I was meant to talk about.
Q.U.B.E (aka quick understand of block extrusion) is a game that is often compared with Valve’s Portal and in some cases, mistaken to be Portal 3. The comparison between the two games is unfair yet when playing Q.U.B.E, you find it almost impossible to not think about Portal due to the similarities. Similarities being only that both games have you solve puzzles in a white sterile environment. After that, there is many differences between the two games. For example, Portal gives you a clearer idea of the purpose of the game is (which is to escape the laboratories) and there is other characters involved which creates a world filled with humor and draws the players in. Q.U.B.E only consists the player, puzzles and the endless white void. In Q.U.B.E, you don’t really know how or why you ended up in the testing facility (for the lack of a better term).
Now do not get me wrong. I am not saying that Q.U.B.E is a terrible game. It is actually a great puzzle game. I am just pointing out that Portal and Q.U.B.E cannot be compared to each other as the comparison is unfair and that they are both completely different games.
When you begin Q.U.B.E, you find yourself on an elevator descending down into a strange white facility before blacking out again. When you regain conscious again, you notice you are wearing an interesting pair of gloves which gives you the ability to manipulate colored blocks in your environment. The game does a fantastic job in introducing the game mechanics to the player, that you won’t have any problems understanding the basic foundation of all the puzzles in the game. It introduces the players to each colored block for the player to understand its function before throwing all the colored blocks into a full-blown puzzle for the player to logic their way out of. The game is divided into sectors, leaving with the game a total of nine sectors for you to logic, platform and solve your way out off.
Just when you think you got the game figured out, the game suddenly introduces a new aspect to the game. Whether it be a new type of room, new kind of block or a different kind of puzzle that you haven’t encountered before. Just to keep you on your toes and to freshen things up a bit. The game does take a while to drop real mind-bending challenges onto the player.
While the game is well-executed in the logic and puzzle-solving department, it suffers in other departments. Without any real context to the game, there is no personality or any other factors that would engage the player, other than solving the puzzle to see what next challenge awaits you. Your existence in the facility is a factor that is never addressed or explored; you keep solving puzzles till suddenly you are in rooms that been heavily damaged by an unknown force (which is revealed later) which isn’t explained then escape in a pod into space. Once in space, you find other similar testing facilities floating in space (and occasionally bumped by an asteroid or other facilities).
Q.U.B.E is a game that has a lot of potential. It has tons of great concepts which are realized as fantastic puzzles, with mechanics carefully explained. Nevertheless without context or other factors to explain yours actions, there is much left to be desired. There is not a whole lot to motivate players to keep playing the game, other than for the challenge or curiosity of the next puzzles. The puzzles are great, but it is only a part of what makes games enjoyable. On a whole, it is a great game with challenging puzzles but it feels like it did not reach its full potential to be a truly memorable game.