When Cuboid was released last week on the Playstation Network I was a bit pessimistic. Aside from seemingly coming out of nowhere, the game doesn’t have a visual style that’s as strong as titles like Lumines. Despite the lack of sex appeal and seizure-inducing eye candy, Cuboid is a brilliant puzzle game based on a simple mechanic.
You’re tasked with pushing an oblong block through a grid-based maze. The block is essentially two cubes put together, so as you push it the block will alternate between standing on its end and laying flat. At the end of the maze you must be able to stand your block on end in order to fall into the goal. This means that the true dilemma these mazes offer isn’t so much figuring out which way you need to go, but rather how you can orient yourself to traverse the path and be able to actually get into the final goal. If that didn’t sound mind-boggling enough, subsequent puzzles also throw a variety of trigger-buttons at you, some of which must be pressed by standing up, while others will disable pathways if you are unfortunate enough to touch them.
At the moment, I’m stuck on one of the last puzzles in the game. I keep staring at it and thinking that there is no possible solution; it’s impossible to do what the game is asking. But since I said the same thing during the last level, I know it’s not true. Cuboid is utterly diabolical. It’s not a game that encourages creative thinking; more often than not there is one definitive solution. To some, that may be a flaw, but the game is fiendishly clever, and makes me feel all the more so for figuring it out.