As I’ve said before, it’s always the simple games that have long-lasting appeal. Gamers may rave about the GTA series, or refer to many modern day blockbusters as “classics”, but its often the older games that are the real classic titles – those that will stand the test of time and whose basic gameplay mechanics will still be in use 10, 20 and 30 years from now. It’s no wonder that we are still seeing games being released that are based on old arcade and computer games from the 80s as well as updates and tributes to 90s computer and console games… it’s because those games worked, not only back then but because they had a timeless appeal and playability that went beyond hardware limitations.
We may see some of these old games given a new twist, a cosmetic facelift and brought up-to-date with a modern twist or new gameplay ideas, but there is no denying that not only do these games still appeal to those of us who were around when these games were first released, but to new gamers as well. So that brings me onto Cubixx. Like the Minis title Urbanix that I have already reviewed on the site it’s another game “inspired” by the Taito arcade classic Qix. But what exactly makes Cubixx different? Well, rather than running the game on a flat playing field or a pseudo-3D environment like Urbanix, Cubixx plays on a “mysterious” 3D cube that rotates as you play. Rather than having to section off a set percentage of a particular area, this time you need to use your laser to slice away at all six sides of the cube. You control your movements with the d-pad or left stick and to slice into the cube simply hold down X as you move. You can only move along the edges of the cube or edges of areas you have sliced unless you are cutting into the cube face. As you reach the edge of the cube, it rotates to face a new side and you can then keep moving around the cube.
As areas are sectioned off, they are removed to reveal energy (Laughing Jackal’s description, not mine!) at the centre and once enough of the cube is removed, this energy explodes (why, I have no idea) and you then move onto the next stage. One thing I thought was a nice touch was how they overcame obvious problem you were going to encounter if you removed all of the surrounding cube surface in the centre of one of its faces… simply that isolated panel moves to one of the edges of the cube and re-attaches itself. Simple but it works extremely well in play.
Despite my initial reservations about the move to 3D, the gameplay has managed to remain intact and works extremely well. The tension and frantic pace as you try to get that last 1% to reach your quota is still there and it’s just as compelling and addictive as the original was. While it doesn’t add power-ups or anything else as we’ve seen in so many other “updates”, it doesn’t need them. It’s taken the basic game back to its roots and is all the better for it. It doesn’t push the Vita too hard, but most importantly it’s fun and incredibly addictive – everything you could ask for from a game.
Apart from the odd visual effects for the laser cutting into the cube and the exploding star at the end of each stage, the graphics are functional but it’s hard to complain when the original was just the same. There’s only so much you can do when the game is about drawing lines in boxes! Sound works well enough with suitable, if not earth-shattering sound effects and fitting music. However, all of that is redundant as you won’t be paying any of that much attention as you’ll be too wrapped up in the game itself.
Easily one of the best games released as part of the PlayStation Mobile range and a must have game, whether you were a fan of the original or not. A must have for your collection.
At A Glance
- Title: Cubixx
- Publisher: Laughing Jackal
- System: PlayStation Mobile
- Format: PSN Download
- Cross Buy: No
- Online Multiplayer: No
- Memory Card Space Needed: 22Mb