Cuboid is a 3D block puzzle game with a rather simple premise: Atop a floating platform comprised of panels, you must deliver a two-panel wide block (the titular ‘Cuboid’) to a hole at the opposite end of the platform, dropping it through to complete the course.
Ah, but if only it were as simple as it sounds. The block is unbalanced, so whenever you come across a series of panels that are only one wide (this is frequent, in case you were wondering), it falls off the platform. As such, you have to make sure you are moving it in single-file formation. But then the game soon introduces creaky wooden panels which cannot support the full weight of the Cuboid, and so you must move it as it is spread across two wooden panels at a time.
Knock your block off.
This is how the complexity builds in Cuboid, as the game often changes the situation and how a block can be utilized. Switches, bridges, and teleporters also come into play, each with their own rules. What makes the challenge formidable is that you cannot simply change how the Cuboid is oriented, but must move it around the board to position it in such a way– and even then, being just one tile off can completely thwart your progress.
The game is fun, but it’s also merciless. In some cases, memorization is key to progressing, as if/when you mess up, you’ll need to remember your exact moves to get back to where you were before things went south. This is especially true in the bonus levels, which only allow you a limited number of moves to complete (though with the benefit of items you can pick up to add more moves to the counter).
Scoring is based on the usual three-star system, one of which seems to be awarded for completing the board in roughly so many moves (we’ve gotten three stars even after going slightly over the limit). What is irritating is when you mess up– specifically, when the block falls off the platform and it starts you back at the beginning. For some reason, the move counter just keeps on going, and by that point, you’ll likely just want to start again with a clean slate. Unfortunately, the retry button is inconveniently placed in the pause menu, when a regular button on the main game screen would have been more desirable.
More pit than surface.
The game’s controls are otherwise simple and work without a hitch; swipe in a direction to move the Cuboid in that direction. The playing field is set against the backdrop of an ancient temple’s ruins, and the music works well with the atmosphere.
The only recommendation against Cuboid is that it may not be for everyone, particularly the short-tempered or the impatient. There is a lot of trial and error here, and as noted, one wrong move can ruin all of your hard work in an instant. If you are persistent and can keep track of which moves to repeat and where to diverge in tactics, then you’ll be able to progress. But all the while, the game manages to test one’s patience, albeit in a ‘just one more try, I know I can do this way.’
It’s very oldschool, in that regard, and that style of challenge may not be for everyone. But if you’re up to the task, then Cuboid is a good investment (especially as there’s a free-to-play version, too).