One debate often had between gamers is whether style can make a bland or overused concept appealing. In some instances, that does in fact seem to be the case. Cubetrix 3D doesn’t quite fit that bill, however. While the pretty colors caught our eye, our excitement dimmed once we found ourselves doing the same thing over and over again under overly harsh time limits.
Cubetrix 3D is a color-matching game where you must load a row or column with blocks of the same color. You do this by rotating a block around the border of the cluster and sliding it into place. Once you have pushed it in, the block on the other side will be popped out.
Three tweaks to the formula show up as you progress through the levels. The first is a wall brick, which prevents a row and column from moving. To eliminate the wall brick, you must get rid of one of the surrounding cubes. Next is the bomb block, which explodes randomly during the session, mixing up all the cubes. Finally, you have numbered cubes that must be lined up correctly to be destroyed.
Once you understand the ins and outs of the system, however, it never feels like it evolves. Lining up numbered cubes is certainly a change of pace, but it ends up being more of a frustration than a fun new play mechanic. The same goes for the bomb block, which can throw off your work completely. In the Arcade mode, an unforgivingly short timer ticks away, meaning one little mistake can lead to a disaster.
How many more stages are there?
On the other hand, we enjoyed the puzzle mode. Instead of being limited by a timer, you must get rid of all the blocks using only a certain number of moves. We felt this was how the entire game should have been, making the fact that there are only 30 of these levels a little disappointing. We wouldn’t recommend buying the game solely for these unless more are added.
Graphically, Cubetrix 3D is simple but eye-catching, since each color radiates off the screen with a great glossy effect. However, once you get toward the end of your time limit, the screen flashes wildly. This is a huge eye sore and makes it nearly impossible to keep playing. An option to turn this off in the future would be appreciated. We’d also like to see an endless mode with online leaderboards.
Cubetrix 3D isn’t a terrible matching game, but a few key tweaks could certainly increase its appeal. As is, however, some cubes are simply not meant to be pushed.