A Highly Enjoyable Physic-Based Puzzle Game
Split across 11 beautifully rendered levels, Qube 2 is a first person physics based puzzle game that mixes challenging, thought provocative puzzles with a story line rife with mystery. As the game progresses, the puzzles get more challenging, introducing new gameplay mechanics to improve on the core gameplay structure. There’s echoes of fellow puzzle game Portal here in the presentation and structure of the game but Qube 2 manages to instil just enough originality in its ingeniously crafted puzzles to make this an enjoyable puzzle game in its own right.
Sections of the environment can be manipulated to help complete puzzles
The game’s prologue opens with a bleak, alien wasteland that sees you take control of a British archaeologist, Amelia Cross. After passing out and reawakening, you find yourself inside a cube-like structure with little but your wits and your gloves used to manipulate the environment. With the help of fellow survivor Emma via radio, Qube 2 sees you navigate through various rooms full of physic based puzzles and obstacles. With the help of your trusty gloves that can manipulate sections of the environment to your benefit, the majority of play time sees you completing puzzles in various sections of the cube to try and escape and rejoin your fellow comrades. Although not the central focus, the story line works well and manages to balance the mystery shrouded plot with just enough bites of revealing dialogue to make you want to find out what’s happening, why it’s happening and just where you are.
The lighting and graphics are beautifully rendered in game
As you manoeuvre through the world, you manipulate sections of the environment highlighted by glowing white squares to either place blue jump pads, red rectangular blocks or later on spawn a green cube. The bulk of the gameplay revolves around this easy to grasp mechanic in progressively more difficult and challenging puzzles. What begins as a simple physics based puzzler quickly adopts more complicated mechanics including magnetised platforms, oil, flammable doors as well as rolling balls that require thought and precision to use. If you make a mistake or a solution becomes apparent, you can destroy cubes too with a tap of square. Any mistakes you make are pretty easily rectified although late on a few puzzles are very challenging and require multiple bouts of trial and error to pull off.
As the game progresses, more mechanics are introduced including magnetised platforms
Thankfully the actual physics of the game are on point and realistically depicted throughout the 11 chapters. Jumps are suitably weighted, the various rooms designed in such a way that trial and error is never punished and there’s just enough variety in the gameplay to avoid this one feeling stale and monotonous. For vast periods of Qube 2, each room is separated by dimly lit corridors that can sometimes make it difficult to discern exactly where you’re going but the art work on a whole is beautifully presented. Fire looks realistic, there’s a glossy shine on walls reflecting the light and some of the outdoor sections make good use of the filtering sunlight and coloured hues to keep each area feeling distinctly different.
How difficult you’ll find Qube 2 is really dependant on how you fare with physic based puzzles and logical thinking. Most puzzles can be completed through sheer trial and error but a little forward thinking and understanding the mechanics of each individual puzzle go a long way to reduce the time spent on each one. During our time playing, we finished the game in a little over 4 hours however this could exponentially change depending on how comfortable you are with the various mechanics and puzzles in game.
There’s a good array of puzzles here that really test your logical skill
If you’re looking for a challenging and absorbing puzzle game, Qube 2 is a great option to choose. The gameplay mechanics are cleverly introduced with enough layers of ingenuity during play time to avoid any monotony from settling in. Despite its similarities with fellow puzzle game Portal, there’s enough originality within the mystery shrouded storyline and physic based puzzles to make this a suitably original game in its own right. Qube 2 may not be the best puzzle game out there but it’s a highly enjoyable one nonetheless and the innovative mechanics should be enough to see you through until the end credits.
Verdict - 8.5/10