Q.U.B.E Review

by Stephen Heller Featured

3 Comments 11 Votes 8835 Views 20/01/2012 Back to Reviews

It's like Portal, but not...

Puzzle games are dime a dozen, however Toxic Games has just released a rather interesting effort with Quick Understanding of Block Extrusion, simplified simply as Q.U.B.E. Coming out of the gate with a simple, yet effective interface and some rather impressive visuals for a indie release, how does Q.U.B.E perform in the long run?

What Q.U.B.E Got Right

Challenging puzzles - Q.U.B.E is a head scratching puzzler that is rather reminiscent of Valve’s successful Portal series. While it may lack the story and polish that Valve are known for, it does feature some truly challenging puzzles that will test even the most experience gamer.

Get the Adobe Flash Player to see this video.
Check out our video review!

Puzzles consist of various block types, all which have specific properties. Red blocks can be extruded out by three, yellow blocks can form tiered stairways, blue blocks can be pushed down to act as a springboard, green blocks can be manipulated by physics, and purple blocks rotate entire sections of the room. Each element is slowly introduced, which makes the player feel like a genius until the eventually get stuck. Each puzzle is crafted in such a way that the solution will eventually become apparent, and the player will eventually be successful.

Accessible gameplay - Q.U.B.E does a great job at ensuring that players of all skill levels can simply pick up the game and start playing. There is no HUD to speak of; players simply point their cursor at a block, and left click to extrude the block, or right click to push it down. That’s all there is to it - no tutorials, no explanations, it becomes second nature after just a few seconds.

Perfect length - Q.U.B.E isn’t a 10 hour game, and that’s okay. Experienced players will be able to breeze through the puzzles in a 2-4 hours, while those of us who get stuck from time to time will get to spend a while longer in the game. Considering the low price tag attached to the game, and the lack of narrative, that seems like the perfect length for this type of game.

What Q.U.B.E Got Wrong

Lack of purpose - Q.U.B.E has a sense of something untoward happening behind the scenes, and while subtle hints certainly point in that direction, nothing is ever built upon or resolved. Why is the player waking up in this facility, groggy and disorientated? Why are we moving through this never ending Apple store that is beaming with a white sheen? Where did these powerful gloves come from? These are all valid questions that could have been resolved by something as simple as some text dialogue, but unfortunately we're never given such a luxury. It leaves the gaming lacking purpose, and at times will cause the player to lose interest.

Originality - There is a difference between taking an idea and giving it your own unique twist, or taking an idea and copying it verbatim. Q.U.B.E walks dangerously in the grey area between those two sentiments. It is hard not to find blatant comparisons to Valve's Portal series, so much so that some of the puzzles even feel like they belong in the Aperture Science Labs. While Q.U.B.E does offer enough differences to play as a separate game, it lacks true originality.

Disappointing ending - Despite the lack of narrative, the player spends the game progressively learning how to solve puzzles with the various block types and methods. The final areas should have been the most challenging of the entire game, using everything we had learned up until that point. It didn't. Instead players are greeted with some fairly easy puzzles that can breezed over. It makes the journey seem less rewarding, and is quite a let down.

The Final Verdict

At the end of the day Q.U.B.E is challenging, fun and the perfect example of just how far indie games have come. While it may lack originality, if you're a fan of puzzle games, this could be well worth your time and money.

By Stephen Heller


Platform: PC
Developer: Toxic Games
Similar to: Portal
Vote for this article Log in with Facebook

Q.U.B.E Review Comments

Leave a comment Log in with Facebook
Looks, good...
Will DL the demo and see if I like the gameplay
Looks cool, don't think I'll get it though.

So the ending you escape the destroyed halo ring?

Post a comment

Leave a comment Log in with Facebook

Recently Read

Featured PC Content

GOTY 2015: Best Game Of 2015

GOTY 2015: Best Game Of 2015

22/12/2015 Polls 16 14
Friendly Fire Show 122: The Finale

Friendly Fire Show 122: The Finale

Podcast 21/03 Articles 7 6
Friendly Fire Show 121's The Divided
Podcast 15/03 Articles 3 3
Australian game sales approach $3b, mostly digital
maxiboy 13/03 News 5 10
Target store in SA displays games in plain packaging

Target store in SA displays games in plain packaging

maxiboy 13/03 News 5 11
Friendly Fire Show 120: I swear, by the Sun and Moon...
Podcast 02/03 Articles 2 1
Friendly Fire Show 119: Weekend at Tano's

Friendly Fire Show 119: Weekend at Tano's

Podcast 23/02 Articles 5 1
Friendly Fire Show 118: R.I.P. Tano

Friendly Fire Show 118: R.I.P. Tano

Podcast 11/02 Articles 3 3
Friendly Fire Show 117: It's not goodbye, it's Halo!

Friendly Fire Show 117: It's not goodbye, it's Halo!

Podcast 01/02 Articles 6 4

Community Content

Fallout-themed excuses to get the day off

Fallout-themed excuses to get the day off

09/11/2015 Blog 19 0

MMGN Updates


digitalgho just unlocked the Welcomed achievement!

digitalgho 16 hours ago

canaldodg got Blacklight Retribution, DOOM, Call of Duty: Black Ops III, Bloodborne

canaldodg 4 days ago

LoveIsMurder13 wants Fallout 4

LoveIsMurder13 4 days ago

Wamuu is now Level 2!

Wamuu 5 days ago

fitaang is now Level 2!

fitaang 5 days ago

ZenModz is now Level 8!

ZenModz 19/04/2016

commented on Year in review: The worst-reviewed games of 2015

JanaR 18/04/2016

commented on Far Cry 3: Worth Getting?

JanaR 18/04/2016

emilywer12 is now Level 2!

emilywer12 14/04/2016

commented on Cricket Coach 2016 coming in April 2016

shannon458 13/04/2016