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Cuboid

Humanity has always had a fascination with trying to stuff blocks into holes. Starting at a young age, many of us tirelessly tried to finagle that cursed green triangle block into the circular slot. Even though it appeared impossible, we were confident it could be done from different angles, or perhaps even sideways, when none of those solutions proved correct, there was always the toy hammer that came with the set. Many years later, the frustration, improvisation and addiction has returned, under the cuddly guise of Cuboid.

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Lacking the variety of blocks found during childhood, Cuboid’s puzzles derive from rotating a solitary rectangle around a number of courses, trying to drop the block through the exit. While the premise is incredibly simple, navigating your block to safety can become an incredibly thoughtful procedure. While on its side, the block occupies two squares; on its end, just a single square. Level exits are also a single space, meaning that getting there is only half the challenge Cuboid presents.

Flipping and rotating blocks might sound boring, but to spice things up, Cuboid has a fair share of obstacles to throw off players. For example, the wooden tiles can’t support the full weight of the block, and the teleporters will split your block into two separate halves that can be moved independently. Obstacles and other environmental hazards are often important to solving the current board. In the case of a teleport tile, the separated cubes can reach areas inaccessible to the full two squared rectangle.

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Disregarding the features and gameplay found in Cuboid, it has that certain intangible appeal that most great puzzle games possess. On your first pass, some of the later levels can leave you scratching your head for as many as ten or more minutes. While that might sound like a great deal of time to stare at a single static board, Cuboid does an incredible job of never feeling too hard. Although it does get tough, as you’re playing around with your block you’ll always have that feeling that you’re only a couple flips away from the eureka moment. Since success is always in close proximity, finding the desire to put Cuboid down becomes the most difficult puzzle to solve.

Unfortunately, since Cuboid can be quite addictive it can also be over within a short time. To remedy this shortcoming, Creat Studios has added a great rating system that not only clocks your block flipping but counts the amount of moves it takes to solve the board. Counting the amount of flips creates a compelling reason for players to find the most economical route to success and once you have, you may feel free to upload your score to find out other people are still much better than you are.

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If you’re a fan of puzzle games, there really isn’t any reason to not download Cuboid. It manages to hit all the right notes with its simple premise disguising its deep and intuitive puzzles. It certainly won’t grab your eye like the aesthetic found in echochrome, but it’s far more content to play things safe and be a ton more fun.

8 out of 10

The author of this fine article

is an Associate Editor at Thunderbolt, having joined in April 2008. Get in touch on Twitter @_seankelley.

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