To describe Cubetractor would require me to use a term that games are rarely labelled – mindnumbling challenging. It seems that only indie developers these days are able to churn out games that require so much finesse. At its essence, Cubetractor is a puzzle game but throw in elements that require much precision and dexterity, Cubetractor becomes a genre all on its own.
By the time one hits the fourth tutorial level, you would have plenty of obstacles thrown your way that it comes more top down flight actioner than puzzle builder. All things considered, you could half ass your way through the game but that’s not the point considering you’d want to 3 star rating every level for that sense of achievement.
Dodge stuff, Build stuff, Destroy Stuff
The game does well by teaching players a new element progressively in each tutorial level incrementally. But what happens is that on top of each new element would be plenty of other obstacles in the way to punish the undexterous.
Cubetractor is in need of tighter controls and a remapping feature. It grew quite frustrating for me to control and move all in one hand. Not sure if game design was meant to be that way, the difficultly in Cubetractor hits you like a truck. In Super Meat Boy, which was insanely hard as well, the controls in Team Meat‘s game was tight and precise. With Cubetractor, controls are very much critical when you are dodging bullets, pulling cubes (which hurt you if you stand in their way) and building structures in specific locations.
Movement is executed with WASD, Space to pull and X to delete. Build stuff by pulling individual blocks together. Seeing how all these buttons are all in close proximity to each other and Cubetractor requires you to be mobile most of the time, I’m unable to envision how the average individual would be able to pull it all off consistently.
However, when it all comes together and completing a level with 3 stars, the sense of satisfaction is immense. And in order to do so you’d have to clear the level fast, pick up all collectibles and not get hit. Definitely a game for the Dark Souls crowd.
Complementing Cubetractor’s gameplay would be well designed visuals and sound design which comes together pretty well. No fancy graphics here but it all works and serves no distractions to the player when there’s so much happening on screen.
If tough isn’t a word in your vocabulary, Cubetractor is the ideal game for you. Possibly plenty of broken keyboards along the way however. The good thing is that there’s a demo to give you a taste if the game is really suited for your liking. Worth giving it a go.
This is a game that cannot be aptly described but one that needs to be experienced. BRING ON THE PAIN!