Q.U.B.E. 2 Review

Action, adventure, first-person, indie, Nintendo Switch Review, Platformer, Puzzle, Q.U.B.E. 2, Q.U.B.E. 2 Review, Rating 8/10, Switch Review, Toxic Games, Trapped Nerve Games, Video Game, Video Game ReviewQ.U.B.E. 2 is a 2018 puzzle adventure game developed by Toxic Games and published by Trapped Nerve Games. Toxic Games is a UK Based studio that had previously developed Q.U.B.E., which started as a student project before the game was released in December of 2011. Q.U.B.E. stands for Quick Understanding of Block Extrusion, which describes the block-based puzzle gameplay, where the player must extrude cubes with various properties to solve physics puzzles. With strong and creative puzzle design taking a center stage, Q.U.B.E 2 is a more than worthwhile romp

In Q.U.B.E 2. the player, Dr. Amelia Cross, wakes up with amnesia in an alien world after a mission of some sort went horribly wrong. Guided by a vague colleague named Emma and an alien resident of the mysterious world, Dr. Cross must traverse the puzzle-filled world to try and figure out how she arrived in the strange location and who she can trust.

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The core gameplay of Q.U.B.E. 2 has the player enter varied rooms with elaborate spatial and physics puzzles. In these areas are multiple mechanisms, such as buttons, ramps, spheres, magnets, and levers. The player must interact with these mechanisms with abilities gained over the course of play. Platforms, cubes, and trampolines can be placed in designated spots throughout the level, and the player must combine these to advance a path through the level. The puzzles require creative use of the limited move pool; each mechanic is used to the fullest to create Rube Goldberg combination to get to the player to the end of the room and ultimately complete the level. Unfortunately, These challenges are not strenuously hard, and random trial and error often lead to progress. Most levels are made up of a series of micro-challenges, where the player first needs to open a door, then flip a switch, and finally reach the final objective. Compartmentalizing the challenges in this manner makes it easier for the player to realize they are making tangible progress in the game. Late-game puzzles require heavier forethought, requiring the player to plan out every move. These puzzles combine knowledge of all of the mechanics and are fun and challenging romps, and are the highlight of the play experience

In Q.U.B.E. 2 the graphics are relatively simple but expressive. The high contrast between the relatively drab backgrounds and the colorful cubes used to solve the puzzles are important and help allow the player to identify useful mechanisms related to the solution of the puzzle. There are only a few animations for various activities, but they are all incredibly expressive. When jumping down from a large height, Dr. Cross breaks her fall with her arms, giving weight to the fall, whereas spawning a cube or a platform is just a simple but fluid flick of her wrist, as if it was as natural as walking.

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The story was a fair bit confusing because the player is not supposed to know who to trust and where they are, but the production values are top tier. All of the dialogue is enthusiastically voice-acted, which provides a good understanding of Amelia’s thought process through execution and tone, like when amelia demands an answer from her unreliable guides. menus were stark and utilitarian, but they did allow the player to adjust controls and stick sensitivity, which was useful in overcoming levels that required quick reactions. While the overall presentation was simple and limited. The bits that were there were exceptionally polished and did a great job contributing to the experience.

Q.U.B.E.2 wholeheartedly impressed me with its thorough and creative exploration with its limited mechanics. Extruding blocks to create a Rube Goldberg-inspired path beat each level was a joy. While the game didn’t hold many challenges in the beginning, the later puzzles certainly held their weight and allowed the player to show their mastery of its mechanics. The game’s utilitarian design enhances its puzzles, and its great voice acting and cool animation tie up the presentation with a nice bow. Q.U.B.E. 2 is a complete package perfect for those who are looking for fresh, interesting, and creative spatial puzzles.

REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Nintendo Switch code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to editor@bonusstage.co.uk.

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Q.U.B.E. 2 Video Game Review
  • Gameplay - 8/10
    8/10
  • Graphics - 8/10
    8/10
  • Sound - 8/10
    8/10
  • Replay Value - 8/10
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User Review
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Overall
8/10

Summary

Q.U.B.E. 2 is a complete package perfect for those who are looking for fresh, interesting, and creative spatial puzzles.