PC/Mac Reviews

Cubixx HD Review: Pumped Up Qix

CubixxHD

Years ago, Qix was a neat puzzle game. You were on a 2D level where you had to cut out the environment while avoiding enemies. Then, years later Cubixx was released as a PSP Mini, a title that could be played on both the PSP and PS3. Cubixx was so successful that the developers were able to remake the title on the PS3 as Cubixx HD. Now, the title has been ported to Steam and it mostly holds up, but players may find the release somewhat unneeded.

The original Cubixx was a pretty straightforward puzzle game. A three-dimensional reworking of the classic title Qix, you control a ship on a cube. Each side of the cube has an enemy called a Cubixx that you need to avoid, while using a laser to cut off parts of the cube. You have to cut out a set percentage of the cube, while being sure to avoid the enemies.

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The main challenge with these Cubixx is two-fold. On one hand, you cannot ever actually destroy these Cubixx. That means that you really have to do everything you can to avoid them. On the other hand if you try to cut out a portion of the cube that is too large, you run the risk of a Cubixx hitting your line. So, you have to balance trying to cut away parts of the cube while avoiding cutting away too much or risk dying.

This was the main challenge of the original Cubixx PSP Mini title. The HD version layers in more challenge by adding in new enemies, like smaller Cubixx that can be killed by creating a split between the smaller ones and the larger ones. There are also enemies that will stay along the sides of the cubes and travel along the lines that you have cut out. You also have to deal with the additional threat of a fuse ticking down along the line you cut out, which will eventually catch up and kill you.

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You do have some additional tools at your disposal in the form of power ups. There are power-ups that will add to your score, or give you additional live as well as more traditional ones like a shield that will protect you or a speed power up.However, you can get power downs that will reverse your controls or slow you down. There’s the added challenge that if one of these power downs is in an area you are about to cut out, you will inadvertently screw yourself. This adds the challenge of having to be fully aware of each area you are cutting out so you can change the exact section you are cutting out.

The entire game is incredibly challenging, especially if you don’t have a ton of patience. If you are not willing to slowly work each area to avoid the Cubixx, you will easily die. However, if you take too long, you’ll get caught by any of the other enemies. You have to balance your speed while planning out what you are doing.

This Steam iteration doesn’t really add anything to the entire equation, however, if you already have owned the PS3 iteration. This is a near exact port of the PS3 iteration, down to the fact that the multiplayer of the game has 7 players, a feature very specifically designed for the fact that the PS3 could support up to 7 controllers. But there are new Steam leaderboards, so if you were looking to do a score chase, you could easily do it now.

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Cubixx HD adds nothing to the equation, but if you’ve never had the chance to check out this game, it’s still really fun.  Although you really shouldn’t expect much outside of a PS3 port. There is a lot of challenge involved and it’s a really neat reworking of Qix. Plus, if you want to re-chase the leaderboard, it’s a decent excuse to check out this re-release.

SCORE: 8.0 out of 10

A code for Cubixx HD was provided to Pixel Related for review

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