Game Over Online ~ Qubix

GameOver Game Reviews - Qubix (c) AIM Productions, Reviewed by - Fwiffo

Game & Publisher Qubix (c) AIM Productions
System Requirements Pocket PC
Overall Rating 83%
Date Published Friday, November 30th, 2001 at 12:40 PM


Divider Left By: Fwiffo Divider Right

Descendant from a sister title called Chix, Qubix is an addictive action game with some clever design to keep it interesting. The premise of the game involves you manipulating an onscreen persona to draw certain shapes on the playing board. Your shapes will then reveal parts of a hidden picture. The object of the game is to uncover as much space as possible until you hit the minimum requirement in which time, your reward is to view the entire picture in crystal clear clarity. You can draw an abundant amount of shapes but your persona can only move in a right angle, which means there is no diagonal movement.

To keep the game interesting, you have two different types of foes that try to make your life miserable. One is a giant floating cube that kills you while you are drawing your shapes. The other makes you want to draw more shapes by patrolling the border/perimeter of the game board and the shapes you draw. The design is fairly clever. The border guards will make you want to leap out on to the playing board to draw shapes. At the same time, the floating cube meanders randomly throughout the gaming board. As you uncover more and more of the picture, the game gets more intense because there is less space for the cube to float and therefore, you will have a higher probability of meeting either it or the border guards. Although Qubix presents nothing new on the table, I like the challenge it represents. In later levels, some border guards will move fast while others will move slow and the different combinations of guards gives the level a subtle identity unto its own. The most challenging is probably predicting the floating cube, which not only meanders randomly until it hits something but also alternates its speed in a random manner.

Each level ideally takes no more than five or ten minutes to complete so it is ideal for people on the go. However, I found the control scheme a bit frustrating. On harder levels where your shapes get increasingly bizarre and jagged, you can easily get stuck because of the shapes you've drawn. Moreover, sometimes the game's judgment and my judgment differed on whether I was hit by a border guard. This might be due to the iPaq's inherent button problems but I think it is more about control sensitivity, which there isn't an option to toggle in the menu. I also ran into a few bugs regarding how much percentage of the picture is revealed. In some instances, especially when the border guards, the cube and I collide together, I suddenly reveal 95% out of 75% required when I'm certain that I only have about 15% maximum revealed. This might be argued as a beneficial bug but it is worth noting.

The pictures that Qubix lets you reveal are fantasy CG art in nature. I thought it was a rather interesting concept and the developers behind Qubix have constructed several free theme packs that you can add to the game. Qubix's sister product is Chix, which substitutes adult material for the pictures. One thing I didn't like about Qubix though is the fact that I had no option to review completed levels. So if I wanted to see the picture to level 7 again, I have to scroll back from level 26 and replay the level. Another thing lacking about Qubix is any sort of penalty. True, you get three lives for each gaming session but when I was too lazy to think of ways to outsmart the computer, I would simply draw a straight line up the middle to reveal 50% of the picture. Because of the random nature of the AI in this game, sometimes the cube and border guards let you do this. So what I would do is simply repeat this procedure until I get 50%, at which point, revealing the rest of the board is a lot easier. I'm not sure if adding any more penalties would be toeing the fine line between frustration and fun but you can certainly play most of the earlier levels in trial and error mode.

The premise of this game is actually quite simple but the audio-visual presentation of it is very professional and slick to boot. The effects and soundtrack are plentiful and fitting. The true strength of the product is in its insanely addictive design. The only reason it might stop you from whipping this game out in public is the mandatory two-handed interface. However, if you can get over that, its charming action will only have you coming back for more.

Ratings:
[09/10] Addictiveness
[17/20] Gameplay
[13/15] Graphics
[08/10] Interface/controls
[08/10] Program Size
[04/05] Sound
[03/05] Discreetness
[13/15] Learning Curve
[ N/A ] Multiplayer

 

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Rating
83%
 

 

 
 

 

 

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