Back in 2011, a Swedish developer by the name of Notch released a little known game called Minecraft; designed to take the world of LEGO and bring it to a new generation. Since then, the game itself has seen releases on pretty much every device capable of playing it, or for devices that haven’t been graced with the game; an unofficial imitation has been released. Big John Games’ Cube Creator 3D just so happens to be one of these imitators, however when compared to the game which it draws inspiration from, it leaves you just wanting more substance.
Like to the game on which it is based, Cube Creator 3D is split into two game modes – Creative and Survival. Survival mode places you within the sandbox world with absolutely nothing, instead leaving you as the player to gather the resources and craft them into a usable state. Creative mode, however, makes all of the in game items available for you to use right from the very second you load the game – the only thing that limits you in this mode is your imagination.
Well, your imagination and the lack of different materials available within the game are the only things that can limit you. Unfortunately, there is a distinct lack of building materials available for you to use in Cube Creator 3D. Whereas in Minecraft you’re presented with literally hundreds of materials that you’re able to use, even if the majority are just different colours of the same item, Cube Creator 3D only gives you a meagre 30 items to work with. Due to this limited lack of resources, including materials with colour in their design, it is difficult to create anything of too much note inside the game’s world, as any creations that you do make will look rather bland and simplistic – as opposed to some of the masterpieces that are easy to create within other versions due to their vast array of usable materials.
Due to this lack of materials, the game doesn’t really offer much in order to keep you coming back. Unless you’re one of the types of person to get really stuck into these types of games and spend hours upon hours creating vast cities and the like, it’s more likely that you’ll pick it up for maybe an hour or so, if that, then barely return to it again unfortunately.
However, Big John Games have promised an update to the game which fixes this by including several new block types such as marble, basalt, diamond and coal, alongside others. It also will include 2 new areas, Fantasia and Inferno; Fantasia. At the time of writing this review, update 1.1 is in lot check with Nintendo, with a release set for December 17th.
Within Survival mode, there are a number of enemies who will attack you as you try to collect and craft your resources. In these, from those which I have found, are bears, magic skeletons and trolls. Due to the fact that these enemies will attack you on-sight, it can be quite frustrating running into one, especially if you’ve only just started and as such have no items on you, and will lead to you seeing a game over screen more than once.
Whilst frustrating at times, the designs for the enemies make up a little for it. Instead of being simple blocks like the rest of the world, they are full models that allow you to fully appreciate the time that has been put into creating them – as they are all detailed models that bear a striking resemblance to their real life counterparts whilst somehow managing to not look out of place in the game’s world.
The lack of a run function within Cube Creator 3D hits the game’s survival mode hard also. More than once, you’ll need to get away from wherever you are quickly, whether you’re being attacked by too many enemies at once or are simply at too low a health bar to fight, but are unable to do so and as such are left to die and lose a significant portion of the items which you are currently carrying in your bag.
Whilst Cube Creator 3D doesn’t exactly push the 3DS to its limits graphically, I can’t take away anything with how the game visually looks. It has an incredible draw distance to say that it is running on a handheld console, so much so that I was able to create a circle with a block diameter of roughly 80 blocks without moving from the place where I was stood. The blocks themselves don’t look too bad either, however it is hard to distinguish between a couple of them (the types of ores come straight to mind here) although the rest are easy to tell from a distance, allowing you to easily gain the blocks that you need to craft in Survival mode.
The music for Cube Creator 3D is admittedly another area where it does well, and is probably the best asset that the game has. Whilst weirdly there isn’t any kind of background sound whilst playing in creative mode, instead your only source of noise is that of the player interacting with the environment, the background sound for survival mode is amazing, there’s no other word for it. Somehow managing to be soothing yet eerily creepy at the same time, the sound manages to make you on edge with the monsters surrounding you whilst calming you with the free space that you have to run around in.
Whilst Cube Creator 3D isn’t exactly a terrible game, serving its purpose as a 3DS sandbox builder well, I just can’t recommend the game currently due to how limited it is. There isn’t enough substance in the game in its current state to keep drawing you back to it; instead it’s something that you’ll play for an hour or so before leaving it for something else. However, when Big John Games have released the version 1.1 update to include the promised new areas and building materials, then I would definitely recommend picking up the game.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Nintendo 3DS code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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