Title           Cubulus
Company         Software 2000
Game Type       Puzzle
Players         1/2 (hotseat)
HD Installable  Copy to hd
Compatibility   All (?)
Submission      Joachim Froholt Profiled Reviewer

In November 1991, CU Amiga were proud to present a brilliant PD game
called Cubulus on one of their coverdisks. Or, at least, that's what they
thought at the time. Because Cubulus wasn't a PD game at all, but a
commercial title published by Software 2000. A couple of months later, CU
printed a notice where they explained that they had received claims of
this, but that they had not been presented with proof. Nevertheless, they
asked PD libraries to cease publication of the game until further notice
(the game was already listed in several PD libraries, but whether this
was because of it being on CU's coverdisk, or the reason why CU put it on
their coverdisk, I don't know). I have no idea how this matter was
resolved (Software 2000 was probably not too pleased), but at least
Cubulus found it's way to thousands of CU-buying Amigans across the globe.

Anyway, on to the game. Cubulus, from the profilic German developer Tobias
Richter, is a puzzler which borrows it's gameplay from Rubik's Cube (you
know, that highly annoying but strangely addictive puzzle-thing that
everyone owned back in the eighties). Instead of a three-dimensional view
of the cube, you get a two-dimensional view where you can see all sides at
the same time. And instead of being limited to six sides (as you are with
a proper cube), the size of the "cube" varies from 4 to 25 sides,
depending on how difficult you want to make it for yourself.

So, what about the actual gameplay, then? Is Cubulus fun to play? The
answer is a definite yes, but just how much enjoyment you will get out of
this game depends a lot on your personal taste in games. If you like
puzzle games, you'll like Cubulus. The longevity of the title is a bit
questionable, though. There are tons of levels, but strangely enough
they're all available right from the start, and besides this, they're not
very different from each other. In fact, the only difference is the
difficulty. Not only is the gameplay the same throughout all the levels,
but so is the graphics style and music.

The gameplay is accompanied by an excellent set of tunes created by the
Norwegian musician Bjrn Lynne (Dr. Awesome, for all you demo fans). The
title tune is none other than the brilliant Moongazer, a truly classic
Protracker mod. The graphics found in Cubulus are hardly memorable, but
they serve their function well, and have a certain slick look to them.

In total, Cubulus is a pretty good puzzle game. You can make it as easy or
difficult as you wish, so everyone should find suitable challenges here.
But, while the game has an excellent "pick up and play" quality, it's not
a title which will entertain you for hours at a time. Also, you won't ever
be curious about the next level, since you know it's very similar to the
one before it, only a bit more difficult. If you like abstract puzzle
games, you won't be very disappointed with Cubulus, but if you prefer
Lemmings-style puzzlers with great graphics and interesting levels, this
might not be the right game for you.

This review is based on the version of the game which came with CU Amiga
and not the boxed version.

Fans of Tobias Richters early Amiga productions, which included 3D
rendered animations and slideshows, might be interested in knowing that
his company, The Light Works, is responsible for some of the most stunning
intros and animations in the games industry (If you use a PC, check out
the Patrician II intro for an excellent example of their current work).
Bjrn Lynne is also highly successful today. He's published several highly
acclaimed records through his company, Lynnemusic, and he's responsible
for the music and sound effects in many modern games.

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