Cubis Creatures review
Yet another block puzzler with a match-three mechanic, it’s strange that Cubis Creatures should feel unique. Maybe it’s down to the design, allowing you to shunt new pieces onto the isometric grid from either the X or the Y axis, and stack the battlefield high with combo-rich towers. Maybe it’s because of the art, providing everything with a bright, hard candy solidity and setting the entire game within the gaping mouths of a series of strange animals.
Or maybe it’s the special blocks that elevate a fairly standard experience into realms both tactical and surprisingly arcadey. There are the star blocks, for starters – special targets that, if matched during the course of a round, will boost your score and count towards level unlocks. They’re soon joined by crumbling blocks that shatter on impact, wedge blocks that stack any pieces they hit, laser beams, blocks that alter other blocks’ colours, and even bombs that rearrange the layout in violent little bursts. All of these pieces work in concert with tight deadlines and a slippy, slidey playing surface to create a puzzler that’s both familiar and richly surprising, dynamic and precise.
It’s precise enough, anyway. The game’s angled view and coloured stacks mean that some of the best moments – cascading chains that ripple outwards as the landscape collapses in a shower of points – can sometimes be the result of luck instead of judgement. If anything, though, such an element of happy chaos only helps to enhance what was already a breezy and fiercely likeable game.
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