Think Reversi, only in 3D. Or something.
Cubic from Konami Mobile plays like Reversi (or Othello, if you prefer), with a 3D twist. Like those classic games, pieces are placed on the game grid in alternating turns. When you sandwich one or a row of your opponent's pieces between your own either vertically, horizontally, or diagonally, the pieces are flipped to your color and added to your total. Whoever has the most pieces once all squares are filled wins.
What sets Cubic apart is that the pieces aren't placed on a flat game board, and are instead placed on the top and four sides of a 3D cube. The cube can be rotated and viewed from any angle, simplifying the adjustment to this newer "3D" way of thinking. In truth it doesn't take long at all to adjust to Cubic's 3D twist. Columns and rows remain straight and easy to follow as you rotate your viewpoint around the cube to examine how many pieces you can gain (or lose). Diagonals were a little tougher for me to wrap my mind around, but it wasn't too bad.
The game plays smoothly, with just the arrow keys and the ok button used to move your cursor, rotate the cube, and place your pieces. All the legal moves available to you are highlighted on the cube itself when it's your turn, allowing you to quickly assess the situation every turn without a lot of cube twisting and turning.
The game offers CPU play versus an easy, normal, or difficult AI level, but in practice I didn't find higher levels to be much more difficult. The big thing holding Cubic back is that this is basically all it offers. When you win you're booted back to the main menu, same as when you lose. There's no multiplayer option, not even to pass the phone back and forth between two people, which would have made perfect sense, given the turn-based nature of the game.
Cubic is a worthwhile new take on the classic board game. It's tough to recommend too highly with just its one limited mode of play, however. Konami, give us a sequel with pass and online multiplayer, the option to adjust the size of our cube (playing field) or set the color of our game pieces, stat-tracking, and other features.
What's Hot: Fun, classic gameplay that translated well to the mobile platform
What's Not: Package is too bare-bones