Review: Q.U.B.E. Director’s Cut (PS4/PS3)

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Title: Q.U.B.E. Director’s Cut
Format: PlayStation Network Download ()
Release Date: July 21, 2015
Publisher: Grip Games
Developer: Grip Games, Toxic Games
Original MSRP: $9.99
ESRB Rating: E10+
Q.U.B.E. Director’s Cut is also available on Xbox One and Wii U.
The PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3 download versions were used for this review.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

“We need to have faith in the possibility of good!” Says the female voice.

Gameplay:
I am instantly reminded of Portal due to the first person perspective, the clean lines of the environment, and the female voice telling me what’s happening. Turns out she’s Commander Novak on the International Space Station. If her first name is Kim, I hope she fares better than her namesake in Vertigo. If it’s not Kim, they missed a joke and an obscure, oblique pop culture reference.

Am I Peter Dinklage or Sandy Allen? Who can tell?

Am I Peter Dinklage or Sandy Allen? Who can tell?

Who am I? Do I know? Do I know if I know and if I do am I wrong? Deep space travel is a harsh mistress but she hands-out some cool gloves.

I’m in a “thing” in space a “very long way” from Earth. However, this thing is on an intercept trajectory with Earth and will impact in only a few hours. That has to mean my “thing” is moving really fast. Like REALLY FAST! The moon is about two days away at the 1969 version of high velocity and if I’m a “very long way” away yet only hours separate my “thing” from impacting and thus destroying Earth… I am definitely at least the 1979 version of high velocity known as bookin’!

My job is to decipher and dismantle this thing before Chicken Little beats Nostradamus at fact-finding.

This lady paints a grim picture of success. But we all love a challenge as we sit comfortably amongst fans and air conditioners in our skivvies sipping our favorite beverage.

… This game is addictive …
When Novak signs off we know nothing of the gameplay mechanics. Fear not. They are typical and intuitive. Press Cross to jump.

I feel so short. There were first person games on Nintendo 64 which also made me feel short. In real life I’m 5’7″ so I know from short. That’s merely an observation and no DING to the game. Perhaps the walls are high and I’m 8′ tall! If that were a choice in the game, I’d play as Sandy Allen from my home town and the Split Enz song. “Hello, Sandy Allen!”

Floors and walls react to my presence either raising, lowering, or moving automatically. This can be disorienting when you don’t realize you’ve stepped into an elevator.

Oh my! My gloves react to variously colored blocks in the environment. For red, right is down/in and left is up/out. You’ll get it. I don’t want to spoil the discovery for you except to say that my next discovery made me giggle.

This might be a great candidate for a Morpheus game.

Morpheus much?

Morpheus much?

Think outside the box, yes I did say that, when it comes to some puzzles. Sometimes a backward leap of faith is necessary. A kind of opposite of Willy Wonka saying, “…you can’t go backwards. Have to go forward to go back!” Sometimes you have to go backwards to go forward.

This game is addictive.

These developers just might be fracking geniuses. I am already looking forward to the sequel.

I just yelled, “PURPLE?!”

I just did something and said, “That was [email protected]&ing awesome.”

I just yelled, “HA!!” and laughed!

The ball is in your court. Literally.

The ball is in your court. Literally.

The puzzles in this game are quite logical but they still surprise. It’s nothing like being INSIDE a Rubik’s Cube but one can’t help thinking that if one WERE to be inside a Rubik’s Cube it would not be dissimilar to this. Which is far more than I can say about the novel Still Life With Woodpecker by Tom Robbins which allegedly takes place inside a pack of Camel Cigarettes. Do not subject yourself to that book like I did! Play this game instead.

… no platinum trophy …
Eventually the woman on the Space Station reads you a letter you wrote to yourself about yourself in case you go bonkers or… otherwise lose your memory. Kinda thin but they are shoehorning a plot into a puzzle game so they get some kudos for even trying.

Guess what! There are secret levels too. They aren’t easy.

"Step back. Honky Cat", so you get the Big Picture!

“Step back. Honky Cat”, so you get the Big Picture!

PS3:
The puzzles are identical. The trophies are individual, meaning you can get them on each system. Almost makes-up for no platinum trophy.

As you would imagine, visually the PS4 version is so much more smooth.

Once you solve the puzzles on one platform it becomes so much easier to do that, unless you foolishly traded-in your PS3, on the other platform.

… They’ve done a terrific job …
Visuals:
Clean lines. Bright colors. Nice gloves. There isn’t much to say about the look of the game. It’s a simple puzzler in first person.

"I rarely wear these gloves to the opera, darling.. Oh! But if I did!"

“I rarely wear these gloves to the opera, darling.. Oh! But if I did!”

Audio:
The score is fine. Not special. If you like you can turn on captioning and listen to your own music.

Online/Multiplayer:
This game is single-player only with no online components.

Conclusion:
I had a great time with Q.U.B.E. They’ve done a terrific job at iterating on their own mechanics to increase the puzzle difficulty and the plot is interesting.
Definitely pick this up if you liked Portal or if you just like puzzle games.

Score:
7.5

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

Written by Keith Dunn-Fernández

Keith Dunn-Fernández

An actor/director and more lucratively an Administrative Assistant at a small paper company in NYC, Keith loves his games. And he loves to write. And he is a bit of a sarcasmo.

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