Q.U.B.E. Director’s Cut is a puzzle game in which your gloves manipulate various types of block around you. It’s a simple mechanic that developer Toxic Games has fleshed out to include a multitude of different style of puzzles. The white walls scream Portal, but how does the gameplay fare? Read on to find out!
Developer: Toxic Games
Publisher: Toxic Games
Format: Xbox one
Release Date: July 24th
Copy provided by publisher
Let me get this out of the way right now, Q.U.B.E. is not Portal. The white walls may feel reminiscent of the Portal chambers, and yes, you manipulate things in your environment similar to how the Portal Gun works. But the similarities end there. Q.U.B.E. stands for Quick Understanding of Block Extrusion. It’s all in the title. You start off by simply playing with the mechanics to understand how each block type works. Red blocks move in a straight line horizontally or vertically, blue blocks shoot you into the air when they are pressed down, and so on.
In total there are five different types of blocks: yellow, blue, red, green, and purple. These block types combined with a few other gameplay elements make for tons of creative puzzles to figure out. The simplest of puzzles involve raising a block to reach a higher platform. While complex puzzles require timing and perfect block placement.
The director’s cut of the game includes a complete story that was absent in the original release. The place you’re in is also a cube, and it’s heading towards Earth. On one hand you have a women explaining to you that you have to “figure this thing out” before it destroys the planet. On the other is a mysterious man who claims it’s all a lie. The two communicate with you in-between puzzle sections and it’s all a little confusing until the end resolution. I personally didn’t care for it and thought the ending sequence was lacking. Then again, how many puzzle games actually have a quality story?
Outside of the main campaign is the Against The Clock mode. This mode features 10 challenge maps in which you are tasked with completing under a set amount of time to achieve bronze, silver, and gold medals. The one aspect that stood out to me in these trials is that they actually changed up the gameplay rather than simply adding a clock to the game you’ve already been playing. Not only are there pickups that grant you special abilities such as running faster or jumping higher, but there are gameplay elements that were completely absent from the main game. In one challenge there is a series of tests akin to Simon Says that would grant you a shortcut if completed. Another has you standing on a large green box to not touch the ground. Although it won’t take long to complete, I found this mode to be a nice touch of added gameplay.
Q.U.B.E. Director’s Cut is a good puzzle game that takes a simple formula and expands upon it to create fun and challenging puzzles. The story won’t win any awards, but it doesn’t hinder the experience either. In total there is about 5 hours of gameplay including the Against The Clock mode which adds a fun extra element to the game. It isn’t Portal, but don’t let that be the reason you pass up on this gem of a puzzle game.
+ Fun and Challenging Puzzles
+ Against The Clock
Score: 7/10 “Good”
What I played: 6 hours completing the story and Gold medals in every challenge map while unlocking 19/19 achievements.