The Cube is a video game tie in to the popular TV show of the same name. Debuting in 2009, the cube gained popularity with the British audience very quickly and it became one of Britans most loved game shows, spawning 7 seasons so far and winning 3 BAFTAs along the way. With its huge success and popularity, a video game tie in was inevitable. With so many games having replicated the success of their TV show counterparts in the past, can the cube stand up and be counted as one of the best in its class?
If you’re unfamiliar with the cube here is a brief overview. Contestants face a series of challenges all taking place inside a cube shaped challenge room. Games consist of physical, mental and reaction challenges. Think Crystal maze without the traveling and weird presenter… Contestants worked their way up a ladder of 7 challenges in total, each with an increased monetary reward. Contestants have 9 lives in total with no option to quit once a challenge has been accepted, meaning they can only decide to take the money in between rounds. 2 lifelines are given to each contestant. A simplify, which makes the game easier and a trial run, where the contestant can play through a challenge without committing themselves to it fully. That means they can still change their mind and take the money if they wish. The game ends one of three ways. A player loses all 9 lives, decides to take the allotted money, or they beat the cube and win the £250000 jackpot.
The single player mode takes you through the game just like the TV show would. There is a live audience which applauds when you complete a challenge to. Phillip Schofield didn’t make the digital trip for this one however and the game is presenterless. Before you start a challenge you have the opportunity to use one of your two lifelines just like you would if you were taking this challenge on in real life. The accuracy and mirroring of the game to the TV show adds to what this game brings to the table. Before every challenge “the body” will give a demo, making it look like a walk in the park as usual. Also, just like in the show, you will be presented with the average lives per game stat that Schofield details.
The challenges take place in 1st person and most use the touch screen to complete. The 1st person mode really works here. It is making you feel like this is your time in the cube and less like it’s just another episode. It also saved on creating decent character models. Unfortunately, a lot of the challenges just involve drawing a line upwards at a certain speed to complete. This takes away from what could have been very varied challenges and instead gives it a repetitive feel. The game features 15+ challenges however all with their own learning curves. The trial run lifeline comes in handy for some of the tougher games. The voice of the cube is features heavily and carries the game from completely from an audio aspect. Instructions, lives remaining, game names, everything. The lack of an actual presenter makes the game seem like this god like voice is the only entity in the TV show, but that’s not the case.
From a graphical standpoint, the cube does a great job with the 3DS hardware, making the cube environment seem clean and futuristic, just like in the show. The audience could look slightly better as they just look like something from FIFA 1999. Crowds in games are always hit and miss and the cube misses its mark unfortunately.
Other than the main TV show single player mode, there’s extreme zone. This lets you play the games on a much harder difficulty. 9 lives are given to the player just for a single challenge and you will need all 9…trust me. If you master the single player, this mode adds a little longevity to the overall experience.
The multiplayer mode consists of 2 different games. Battle mode, where 2 players take it in turns to compete in random challenges selected by the cube. Whoever climbs furthest up the money ladder wins. The second mode is a best of 7 competition. Players will have 1 life each per challenge and no lifelines. Whoever wins the most games out of 7 wins overall. Both games are fun and work well. They add a unique twist on the show and make it easy to engage with friends. The games being simple make it very easy to pick up and play with friends or alone.
The Cube does exactly what you’d expect of it. It allows players to play through their favourite challenges from the show and work their way up the money ladder to see how much money they can take home. The audio is almost perfect, it just lacks Phillips Schofields distinctive but unfortunately absent voice. The challenges play well and the touchscreen is responsive throughout. If you’re a fan of the show and think you have what it takes to beat the cube, give it a go. It’s by no means game of the year, but it provides the experience that it set out to do.
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