Evil squares are attacking the universe! Sure, squares might not seem like a big deal, but they really are! They're far too boxy, for one. Also everybody knows that squares aren't cool and who wants to live in a universe that's not cool? The universe needs help to deal with this. The universe needs Cube Droid, who's only happy to come to the rescue in Cube Droid Saves the Galaxy, a new sokoban-ish style puzzler from DevilishGames.
Cube Droid Saves the Galaxy is essentially a take on the classic game Sokoban, where you push crates around an area in order to achieve your goals. Cube Droid complicates this formula by adding in enemy robots and turrets to deal with. In each level your goal is to navigate the stage, collect all of the batteries and return to your ship.
There's not much to controlling Cube Droid. Use the [arrow] keys to move. There, you're ready to save the galaxy! You can push certain blocks by running into them, but be careful, since you can only push one block at a time. Getting a block stuck in a corner or two blocks stuck on each other next to a wall is a quick way to render a level unbeatable. If that happens, press the [R] key to terminate poor Cube Droid and restart the level. Likewise, a single hit will cause you to restart too, so keep an eye out for danger.
You're going to face a variety of nasty foes during your galaxy-saving adventures. There's Roller Saws that chase you around, Guardians that wake up after you grab every battery then chase you around, Lazer Towers that blast you if you cross their paths and several others. Choosing whether to worry about the mobile or immobile foes first is an integral part of solving each level; sure, you might have a plan worked out to get all the batteries, but how well can you execute it while being chased down or shot at?
Analysis: Whether or not you'll like Cube Droid really depends on how you feel about Sokoban. This is a game that's all about planning ahead; it's vitally important to think each action through. If you don't, you're going to end up in an unwinnable situation or killed by enemy robots. That'll make Cube Droid cry sad, oily tears.
Cube Droid is presented in an adorable cute style. It uses some minor 3D effects to show off each level detonating as you clear it which are pretty cool, but generally you're going to spend your time looking at a top-down 2D view of each level. Everything is crisp, detailed and easy to make out. You'll be thankful for this when you're frantically steering Cube Droid away from a mob of enemies.
The difficulty ramps up steadily and there aren't too many spots where you can expect to get stuck. Persistence will usually see you through, and it's worth it; some of the later levels are impressively designed and a lot of fun to play. Beating a difficult level with a perfectly executed set of moves is a great feeilng and looks awesome too, like a sort of Rube Goldberg machine.
The main flaw in Cube Droid is how slow the proceedings are. Cube Droid putters along at a leisurely pace and his foes aren't much faster. Patience is certainly a virtue here, both in completing the puzzles and dealing with Cube Droid's two mile per hour speed. While it could be argued that keeping things slow will prevent players from making costly mistakes, DevilishGames may have overdone it here.
All in all this is a solid Sokoban title and fans of this sort of puzzle are bound to find something to love here. Puzzle gamers should also give this a shot, especially if they're chillaxed enough to deal with restarting levels and Cube Droid's slow speed. And action gamers? Well, Cube Droid isn't armed. Maybe in the sequel!