A cuboid is a convex polyhedron. A rectangular cuboid has three pairs of equal, opposite rectangular faces. Each pair of adjacent faces meets in a right angle. I’m sure mathematicians created the cuboid for a variety of good reasons. I'm absolutely certain one of those reasons was not to facilitate the creation of a PlayStation Network title.
Honestly, I write about videogames so I don’t have to think about cuboids. But, I find myself doing so anyway as a result of Creat Studios’ creation, Cuboid. It’s a 3D puzzle title starring the beloved geometric figure discussed above.
Cuboid (PlayStation Network)
Movement is confined to rigid horizontal and vertical flops and slides. The Cuboid’s horizontal movement requires two tiles, while the vertical only one. The piece lacks any sort of special powers or abilities. It is a slave to the level design. Gameplay, then, is defined by your ability to maneuver the piece through the designer’s creation. A creation -- a puzzle, really -- that ultimately has one solution with slight variants.
The gameplay progresses at a rapid rate. The initial stages feature only tiles with an endpoint that is easy to handle. Within a few levels, Cuboid evolves into a heavy-handed, unique puzzle title. The introductions of wooden planks, switches, and teleports radically change the way you play the game. Reasoning fades from simplistic to complex, radically so in the latter half of the game’s Expert levels.
I find that my most satisfying moments in Cuboid are when I complete a level with a vast amount of teleports. Teleports are unique from the other two devices in the game (switches and planks). Once vertical contact is established, your Cuboid is split into two individually controllable cubes. They are then thrust to opposite sides of the platform, where switches and planks clog what seems to be a clear solution. Once you find an apparent route, the cubes must meet, where they melt to become the rectangular prism.
Like Q-Games’ PixelJunk Eden, it’s hard not to enjoy the atmosphere of Cuboid. The backdrops are pleasantly rendered, serene environments. The music matches the mood well with its light instrumentation and lofty beats. Subtle sound effects (including the Cuboid’s flop) present an easily digestible experience. The work done on the Cuboid itself adds a flavor to an otherwise uninteresting piece.
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