Cubism is puzzling polyhedrons!

Review of Cubism on XBLIG: Try
A solid shape of a game.

Cubism is a puzzle game in 3D.

This is a solid game that markets itself as “tak[ing] the puzzle genre to a new dimension” but ends up ignoring the cliché. Yes, the 3rd dimension is what they’re referring to, but I believe a new dimension for a puzzle game would be some sort of story.

The main game, “Levels”, includes 70 levels. The levels in and of themselves range from super-easy to it-took-me-30-mins from square one (kept barely from the pun). They have different skins that are supposed to vary the almost interminable cubes but don’t quite achieve this. There were almost 40 levels before I got to a rectangular cube. Getting to that level revitalized me somewhat and I managed another 15 levels before wearing down again. That really is too long to go before switching things up.

“Puzzle Mode” is where all the truly interesting shapes are. I haven’t beaten all of them. I could chose the base shape, piece shape, skin color, and level of difficulty. Some combinations, however, aren’t very conducive to figuring out piece orientation.

“Free Form Mode” is kinda like Puzzle but confusing. I didn’t play it enough to gain any opinion other than “Why?”.

The controls get on my nerves sometimes. The game defaults on “up is up” rather than inverted which is easily changed in the control menu. I’m irked by the fact that while you can spin your object around horizontally as much as you wish, you come up against a barrier to keep you from flipping the object over. I’m told that this is done in a number of games to keep directional confusion to a modicum, but that doesn’t stop it from frustrating me on occasion. No biggies there.

Visually there can be some confusion. The “Texture help” function doesn’t always seem to work, or if it does, I’m not catching the hint. Some of the puzzles are hard because of how the lighting is affecting the interpretation of similar colors rather than any real difficulty. The glow for “this piece doesn’t fit with that one” is hard to tell sometimes.

I had to turn the music off and listen to a podcast; the track never changes and isn’t affected by starting a new game, going through the menus, or any other action you’ll take throughout the game.

All in all this game is a Try. Getting through all the Levels in one sitting is not a fun experience, but taking on one of the Puzzle levels every now and again is something I’ve found satisfying and pleasant. Be aware, there is nothing toenjoy in this game other than a good puzzle.

A copy of Cubism was provided to GameMarx for this review by the developer.

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