Cubis is accessible, but its mobile translation could have used some more thought...
Cubis, like many current mobile hits, started life as a casual, downloadable PC title. Unfortunately, unlike Diner Dash, Zuma, or Bejeweled, its mobile translation left something to be desired. The end result is a product that plays well and still offers up solid puzzle mechanics, but doesn't offer an experience that's as rewarding to mobile gamers as those who are in front of a PC screen.
The game plays out on a 3D game board. The board remains stationary (IE it can't be rotated), and gamers can slide colored blocks across the play field from two of the four edges. Blocks come in a variety of colors, and when three like colors touch, they disappear. The challenge is that all levels come with a formation of blocks already present, often stacked three or more high. By eliminating the bottom level of blocks the ones above fall, and can occasionally set off a chain reaction (or a "Cubis").
Arcade mode tasks gamers with clearing a specific number of blocks before time runs out, across the game's 50 boards. Once all 50 are cleared you cycle back to board 1, but with 15% less time to complete levels. Puzzle mode differs from what is found in most puzzle titles. Instead of giving gamers a limited number of blocks queued up in a specific order, then having gamers puzzle their way to a solution, its just a variation of arcade mode, and is still timed.
Cubis' gameplay is super-easy to pick up and understand, even later on when new types of blocks are introduced. The "match three" core of the experience might not be original, but it still feels fresh thanks to its 3D gameplay. The big problem is that this appears to be a direct port of the PC release, and it simply doesn't mesh well with mobile gaming habits.
Every time you load up Arcade or Puzzle mode you begin anew at level one. Your high score in either mode is your total across all the boards you cleared that play session. This makes high-score getting based much more on endurance than skill. To be more appealing to mobile audiences the game should really include a three, five, or 10 minute time-attack option, or allow gamers to choose from a menu of the levels they've cleared previously, instead of requiring them to begin at level one every session.
Cubis isn't bad, but there are better mobile (and PC, for that matter) puzzlers out there.
What's Hot: Controls very smoothly. Easy to pick up and play
What's Not: Not adapted with mobile play in mind