Ladies and gentlemen, brace yourselves as I introduce you to The Most Annoying Game of All Time, it’s Cubles! That’s not to say it’s bad, necessarily, just utterly infuriating at points.
Confused? You should be. Join me after the break, as I take a stroll down Cuble Lane.
First question: how does Cubles work? Well, essentially you’re tasked with making rectangles in a playing area filled with coloured squares. In a nutshell, each point – each of the four corners – of the rectangle must be the same colour, but the remaining squares don’t matter. Easy? Easy.
Mixing things up a bit, each level has a particular objective, such as Collect 50 Yellow Tiles or Make Three Selections of 80 Squares. There’s also an optional bonus objective, with three stars up for grabs.
Occasionally, Cubles throws in what’s called a Pitfall – a condition that you don’t want to meet. Maybe the aim is to avoid tiles of a certain colour, or make only small selections.
Throw in a time restriction, and you’ve got a recipe for a pretty decent puzzle game. All good so far, but I’ve yet to mention the eponymous Cubles. Good lord, the Cubles.
Looking at the App Store description, it’s not wrong when it says: “12 Different Cubles to drive you to the edge of insanity.” My other half had to leave the room at one point because I was “stressing her out”.
Cubles are sometimes part of the objective, catching them in particular (by including them in a rectangular selection), though sometimes they’re happy just to BUG THE UTTER HELL OUT OF YOU.
When a Cuble occupies a tile, you can’t see what colour it is, and even if you happened to notice beforehand, you can’t include that tile as the corner in a selection. You can imagine how irksome it is when a Cuble lands on the wrong tile at the wrong time – just as you’re about to make a mammoth selection.
To make matters worse, each Cuble has its own unique ability. Red Cubles lock tiles as they jump around, Green Cubles squirt water at the screen and obscure the action, Yellow Cubles spit bombs that drain the time bar, Blue Cubles spit balls that lock tiles, and – finally – Purple Cubles multiply.
It’s all just a bit much. Cubles is obviously meant to be challenging, but there’s a fine line between hard and just plain annoying, and Cubles is on the wrong side of that line.
I love memorising attack patterns in Japanese bullet hell games, or taking in excess of 30 minutes to figure out a level in On/Off, but Cubles was just too much.
- Lots of levels
- Thorough tutorial
- Nice and colourful
- So very hard
- The Cubles
- Did I mention the difficulty?
Summary: Cubles is a colourful puzzle game designed to break your brain, but not necessarily in the good way.
Developer: Jolly Jellyfish
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 4.0 or later.
Price: free @ App Store (with in-app purchases/ads)