CubeWorks came out last year on Steam, but has now been released for Playstation VR as well. As the Playstation VR library grows, how does CubeWorks fit in?
Developed by Tinmoon Studios, whose founders worked on titles such as Ratchet & Clank, Resistance and Medal of Honor, CubeWorks is a very “small” game in terms of its scale – a VR take on block matching that’s easy to understand but can get tricky before you know it. For me, it evoked memories on one of my favorite Playstation VR titles to date: Tumble VR, although the way you handle blocks is very different here.
In CubeWorks, it’s all about combining cubes based on the sides that match up with one another. This requires keen observation as multiple cubes can pass by (on a moving belt, for instance) where it’s not immediately obvious which ones go together – causing you to lose valuable time. As you progress through the game’s 20 or so challenges, things get increasingly complex and you’ll need to start engaging in some forward thinking in order to score combo points and clear the puzzle as well.
To do this, you’ll interact with cubes using your Move controllers, which aren’t as well equipped for a game like this as the Vive or Oculus controllers. This is mainly due to a missing thumbstick that would make rotating cubes a bit faster and easier, but the controls are still perfectly functional the way they are.
Games like CubeWorks aren’t groundbreaking – especially when you consider that games like Tumble VR have been on the market for quite some time now – but there is a definite elegance to its simplicity and its visuals. Rather than a game that would have worked just as well in 2D, it’s great fun to pull cubes in close to you and explore all sides to see which ones fit together – allowing you to eliminate them. Visually it’s no surprise that CubeWorks looks like Portal, Q.U.B.E. and a touch of Esper – and thankfully it comes with the same amount of polish that those games did.
Just like Tumble VR, CubeWorks benefits greatly from the added dimension that VR offers. Without a sense of depth, Tumble VR wouldn’t nearly have been as engaging as it was to play – and the same can be said for CubeWorks. Without VR it could have felt close to a game of memory, but technology has transformed it into a game of spatial insight and quick reasoning. It won’t set the VR scene ablaze, but it does have a very attractive price point attached to it.