With maths and science, there is always a solution. Whether it is simple geometry or complex equations, there is always a way to find an answer. Therefore, when games use this theme at their core, I’m always ready for the challenge that awaits me. The Last Cube is conceptually straightforward, but it quickly turns into a nightmarish puzzling endeavour.
Developed and published by Improx Games, this is a puzzle platform title. It utilises clean-cut lines and sparse environments to give the game a sterile and futuristic edge. Furthermore, it’s easy to pick up, but an array of collectables and challenges makes it tough to complete. Subsequently, it’s the perfect title for newcomers and veterans of the genre.
The Last Cube slowly evolves.
The story of The Last Cube is of little importance, but it’s interesting, nonetheless. The enormous cube appears to be crumbling. Within its shell, the puzzles and problems are destroying it. Only by completing each coloured section can you rebuild this once awesome structure. However, this is easier said than done. Consequently, it’ll take guile, logical thinking, quick reactions, and skill to get the job done.
The story aside, the gameplay essentially asks you to roll a die across an array of surfaces. En route, you pick up stickers that must be used to activate switches. This sounds easy, right? Well, it would be if it weren’t for the obstacles in your way. Rivers wipe your stickers, and electrical blocks reset your cube. What’s more, you can only activate the switch by matching the symbols. Therefore, you must plan your moves wisely in order to progress.
On top of this, each of the stickers has special abilities. You can slide along the ground, turn your cube on the spot, create steps from nowhere, and so forth. Individually, these abilities aren’t problematic, but combining switches and stickers makes the gameplay tough. What’s more, you’ll have to split your focus while trying to avoid the traps that halt your progress.
Challenges and relics.
If the basic gameplay wasn’t tough enough, the developers have added some spice to proceedings. Once you complete a stage, a challenge is laid down. Now, this could be as easy as not losing a sticker. However, they are usually tough as hell and test your patience and resolve. You’ll attempt to perfect a run in a limited time, or complete it in a set amount of steps. This sounds easy on paper, however, it’s unbelievably difficult. The developers have given little room for error and subsequently, you’ll hate them for it. Yet, the brutality of the matter is wonderful for puzzle veterans. Yes, it may be out of reach for inexperienced players, but hardened gamers will love the extra content.
Talking of additional elements, there are also relics to find. These collectables are hidden in plain sight and require some logical thinking to collect them all. Consequently, this is the portion of the game that is aimed towards completionists. Collecting each of these items gives you an insight into the lore of the surrounding world. However, they add nothing to the gameplay. Therefore, it can be overlooked if you just want to complete the puzzles.
The Last Cube has a crisp style.
When a game has a basic concept, you don’t expect it to be visually overpowering. Luckily, The Last Cube has a lovely, simple and crisp style. Furthermore, the clean-cut lines, cool colours, and minimalist approach allow you to concentrate on the task at hand. Sadly, though, there is an issue with the action lagging between scenes. This slowdown is jarring and undermines the simplicity and smoothness of the entire project. Subsequently, this is an area that requires immediate attention to improve the final product.
It has a distinct sci-fi and futuristic appearance that is matched by the audio. Furthermore, the airy and metallic sounding music emphasises the vast emptiness of each stage. This is complemented further thanks to the basic sound effects. I enjoyed the stripped back style as the developers could have easily incorporated many clichéd elements.
With many abilities to focus on, and some complex states to navigate, this could have been tough to play. Fortunately, however, the excellent button layout and responsive controls make this easy to play. What’s more, there is a responsive free-flowing camera that further improves the experience.
Normally, puzzle games suffer from a lack of replay value. Unfortunately, the developers tend to overlook additional modes and this is frustrating. Luckily, though, The Last Cube demands you revisit each stage. Consequently, this makes it moreish and great value for money.
The Last Cube is testing.
Puzzle games are designed to push your mental prowess. Yet, The Last Cube is potentially too testing. With multi-faceted stages and many elements to balance, this is tough to complete. However, I enjoyed the challenge, the aesthetics, and the simplicity of its approach. Subsequently, I recommend you to buy it here! Will you master every stage? Find the relics, harness the ability of the stickers, and complete every level.