Picture Cubes

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Rating: 3.7/5 (68 votes)
| Comments (14) | Views (579)

DoraPicture CubesDo you remember when you were a kid, and how much you loved playing with blocks? And then do you remember how that no good, bad apple terrible two-year-old One Tooth McGee would come over and knock them all down, chortling around his pacifier while you wept into the hem of your Elmo skirt?... anybody?... no?... oh, um, no reason. Regardless, Picture Cubes is a fun new way to play with blocks in the safety of your own home, where only the physics will bully you in this colourful puzzle game that sees you assembling pictures from blocks.

Click on a block on screen to interact with it; clicking and holding in the center lets you drag it around, while clicking and holding in any of the block's four corners will let you rotate it. Double click on a block to lift it into the air, and then on the arrows that appear to turn it to display different sides. The goal is to properly assemble the picture displayed at the start of each level, and if you forget, you can click on the bar at the right of the screen to display it again. Correctly matched pieces snap together when they get close. As you progress, the number of pieces you need to work with increases, and so does the variety of pictures you need to sort through to make the correct image.

There's nothing to really make you feel the crunch to finish a level quickly, although if you don't complete a puzzle before the bonus timer counts down you herald the end of the world at the hands of Galactus... oh, wait, I mean, you lose out on a bonus to your final score for the level. Which, while perhaps a little disheartening for those of you who worship at the altar of the high score table, is still hardly a deal-breaker.

Picture CubesAnalysis: Man, shhh. Just... chill a moment, yeah? Picture Cubes has a particularly mellow presentation that's about as relaxing as you can get. The visuals are beautiful, the music is soft, and even the sound effects are pleasant. Picture Cubes is basically the digital equivalent of having someone standing behind you and gently massaging your temples. It's got a gentle difficulty curve, and the whole thing is just fun to play.

Which might be a good thing, since the most difficult thing about the game can be dealing with what appears to be a very sleepy physics engine. Everything seems just slightly delayed, like it's happening underwater. Which, you know, is frustrating when your high score sort of depends on moving with some sense of urgency. Thankfully, once blocks have been connected together, you can't break them apart; blocks that are correctly aligned magically snap together, eliminating trying to align tiny pixels, and then to avoid bumping them apart.

Picture Cubes isn't exactly a high-octane experience. (At least not until you unlock the rail gun.) You and six other friends are not going to be huddled breathlessly around the monitor, whooping, high-fiving, and calling each other "brah" every time someone matches a piece. Instead, it's a mellow, relaxing experience that's accessible to just about anyone. If you just want something simple, lovely, and well made to pass the time with, Picture Cubes is just what the doctor ordered.

... I mean, I assume he was a doctor. Sure the certificate was written in crayon, but he seemed trustworthy. Oh, just play it!

Play Picture Cubes


ViciousChicken March 17, 2010 2:51 PM

I'm finding it to be pretty buggy so far. First of all, when a block is in the air, I can't seem to rotate it in any direction other than about its vertical axis (which I could do when it's on the table anyway). Up and down arrow keys do nothing, and using the mouse just makes it spin super-fast (still only in one direction). The only way I've found to get a different face facing upwards is to move another block partways below it, and let it drop onto its corner, causing it to roll. Am I doing something wrong? Has anyone else gotten it to work?

Also, on level 3, it gave me credit to finishing when I wasn't even close.

ViciousChicken March 17, 2010 2:56 PM

I moved on to level 4, and the rotation ability seemed to be working there... but then the last block refused to go up into the air. I double-clicked everywhere, pressed space; nothing happened.

Anonymous March 17, 2010 3:20 PM

Hmm, I made it all the way to level 7 without encountering any bugs...

dsrtrosy March 17, 2010 4:26 PM

Wow--love the artwork.VERY cool. I am having a few problems, but I think it is just getting accustomed to the controls, not a bug.

dsrtrosy March 17, 2010 4:49 PM

The artwork just gets better and better the deeper you go. I hope there is a way to order these as posters--but I don't see any way to contact the developer.


Not that great - there's a glitch where you can't lift blocks; if you fill in the surrounding 8 blocks, then you can't put the central block into place; and it's quite short.


Single best score - 9,313 is me, win!


Pretty nice game.

However, I find that the controls are rather finicky, quite difficult to get used to. Towards the later levels, the minor details on blocks are important, but the arrows often obscure these details. I end up clicking elsewhere, and then clicking on the block again.

There is a bug: if you double-click on the joined block, then you cannot double-click on any other blocks to lift them. Going to the menu and then going back does not fix this, only reloading the page fixes it. Luckily, the game progress is saved.

Anonymous March 17, 2010 8:42 PM

Gorgous artwork, who are the artists?

Excellent concept, I love the picture sliding type puzzles but the arrow keys spin the sides of the block too far once the block is up in the air. Over-all, it started way too easy and that combined with the controls made me stop at the third level.


I had similar problems to the first poster and gave up. The up/down rotation was fine for a few levels and then stopped working.


The link within the review doesn't work; looks like someone forgot to replace the 'URL' placeholder. :)

Chiktionary March 17, 2010 11:10 PM

Thoroughly enjoyed this game, particularly the artwork and music.
Experienced no problems manipulating or moving the cubes.

dsrtrosy March 18, 2010 9:03 AM

@jonc--that's not a bug. You can't move a "lifted" block. You have to place the center before the outside edges are all filled.


I had the same experience that ViciousChicken (first poster) had. So I closed out the game and reopened it and replayed level 3. It seems to be working properly now.


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