Cubixx HD PS3 Review

Publisher – Laughing Jackal – Developer – Laughing Jackal – Genre – Puzzle – Players – 1-7 – Age Rating – 3+ – Other console/handheld formats – N/A

We’ve seen it with the likes of Tetris, Bomberman, Super Monkey Ball and many others: simple ideas that prove to be addictive during play. Cubixx HD (a much buffed up PlayStation Mini) is one of these games – a rather devilish mixture of fast and fun puzzle action, and is just about as addictive as it is frustrating.

Cubixx HD is indeed powered by a very simple idea, of which has you cutting into a cube with a laser, with each level requiring a specific percentage to be cut away in order to complete it. Added depth comes in the form of the ability to string combos together by travelling from different faces of the cube while holding the laser button down; creating a line that will net you a lot of points just as long as an enemy doesn’t collide with it. You can only move across a face while cutting it with the laser, but you can travel around the cube at anytime by using the white lines at the edges to get from one face to another.

If an enemy (which come in various evil forms, including the titular Cubixx) makes contact with your line before you are finished cutting the portion of the cube away, then you’ll lose a life. The orange cubixx just bounces around on the face of the cube, while other enemies will follow you around the edges, which certainly makes for a tougher time as you attempt to move unharmed from one face to another. There are also comets and other objects placed there to hinder you, and levels with all of these obstacles floating around soon become a reality.

It’s not all bad, though, as there are power-ups that will help you out if you cut around them, although even these are not always there to help you out. The power-ups are colour coordinated: green have positive effects, blue gives you additional points and red should be avoided. You can earn extra lives, freeze enemies, speed your laser up, while negatives include speeded up enemies, reversed controls, and more.

There are 50 levels included in the game. But you’ll have to complete five in a row before the game allows you to move onto the next set of stages. This is definitely set to cause plenty of frustration for certain players, as you could potentially breeze through four levels for example, leaving you to struggle on with the fifth and final one, losing all your lives in the vicious process. You’d then have to repeat all the stages again, bringing about some annoying moments. This is definitely a game that gets tough quickly, barely allowing you to settle yourself on the cube before it gets its teeth and claws out.

The game also has a number of modes included. There are challenges, Score Attack (score as many points with a single life), Line Attack (keep a line going as long as possible) and Time Attack (complete levels as quickly as possible, losing lives will result in a time penalty). Not forgetting to mention that there’s deathmatches and cooperative options for up to seven local players, oh and those that like to see their names in high places, well aspiring to be well positioned on over 150 leaderboards is going to keep such players busy. For the price (a £4.99 download from PSN), Cubixx HD is definitely great value for money.

Cubixx HD definitely isn’t perfect – the unlock structure is going to annoy many, although the game itself is addictive and if it hooks you, you’ll be back time and time again in your attempt to make some progress. There’s plenty to like here and a good challenge for fans of fast paced puzzle games, but the tough structure could definitely put some people off.