I'm yet to find a person who didn't love Portal, if you're out there make yourself known! So a puzzle game that was inspired by Portal is always gonna be a winner, right?
Well in the case of Q.U.B.E yes! You are a person trapped somewhere that is made out of white boxes. A voice in your ear tells you that it is an alien ship, making its way towards Earth. You are humanity's last hope.
Now all of that, now I read it back, sounds remarkably cheesy, but Q.U.B.E really isn't. Or at least it doesn't feel that way whilst you play it. Now if you read my blog you know I'm a spoiler-free zone, so I'm not gonna go into the details, suffice it to say that the story is much better than I expected from a puzzle game. Yes the Portal inspiration is clear to see, but in many ways, I feel that Q.U.B.E expanded in such a way as to outgrow Portal a little. Q.U.B.E poses some real existential questions and the narrative is actually really, really emotive, especially given that your character doesn't speak.
Anyway, you have to find a way out. Luckily you're wearing a nifty little suit that allows you to mess around with coloured blocks. The white ones that make up the majority of the ship are immovable, but in each room you will come across blocks in various colours which do different things. The red ones just move in or out and the yellow ones form stairs, but the blue ones act like a trampoline which is pretty neat. These blocks will allow you to escape the room you're in and continue your quest.
The puzzles in this game are FANTASTIC, I simply cannot say that loud enough. It has been a long time since I've played a puzzle game I enjoyed quite as much as this. They just feel so good to solve. The learning curve is brilliant too, yes the puzzles get progressively harder, but they only extend upon knowledge gained in previous rooms. Honestly the puzzles are so so well done.
Everything about this game is of a quality that I have to admit I did not expect. I started it thinking 'ugh Portal rip off' but soon I was enjoying this even more than I had Portal. Q.U.B.E lacks the humour that was present in Portal, but it makes up for it with an emotional narrative that is really well done. And the puzzles are a dream to solve, just you in a room with no timer or pressure and a reset button for when you eff up to badly. Until you get to the Against the Clock mode, which is a series of time trials that are pretty damn difficult.
Priced at just £7.99 I recommend you all pick this game up and give your brain a little exercise. I'm hard pressed to think of anyone that really won't enjoy it.
9/10 BUY IT!
A code was provided for the purpose of this review.