The Nintendo Switch has become the place to be for developers to give their previously released games a second or even third chance at life. The thought, “Oh yeah I remember seeing or hearing about that game years ago, but for one reason or the other I just never bought or played it” might run through your mind fairly often as a Switch owner.
Q.U.B.E. 2 fell directly in that thought process for me. Let’s be honest right off the bat about this game, take one look at it and what comes to mind? PORTAL! The game gushes with vibes from the successful series. I feel it is important to note that this review is coming from someone that absolutely loves Portal and Portal 2, it might actually fall into my top five favourite game series of all time.
Unfortunately, my fond memories of Portal could not be erased to give Q.U.B.E 2 a review that was not a constant comparison of the two while playing. However, I will do my best after all as this is a review of Q.U.B.E 2!
The player will take control of Amelia Cross (who is totally NOT Chell!) after she wakes in a strange ancient alien location with no memory of how or why she got there. Another person comes into contact with her via a headset that encourages her to press on through the puzzle rooms in order to gain her freedom.
Puzzle rooms are very Portal-like, there is really no other way to put it. Instead of a portal-creating gun, you will wield gloves that can interact with different colour blocks. Interact with the blocks in the right order and you will proceed into the next room. As you progress the puzzles will become more complex and you will learn a bit more about what is going on in the plot as well.
At first, I thought the powers to interact with the different colour blocks was given too fast. It left me wondering what is the game going to do to keep the puzzles fresh and not completely rip off the Portal games. I really did find myself saying “Oh WOW, that’s really cool and original” when a new puzzle-solving aspect was introduced.
I felt a great sense of satisfaction when solving some of the tougher puzzles although I felt the difficulty was nowhere near as demanding as expected. It only took me about four hours to complete the game and did not need to consult any other source to solve any puzzle.
One aspect that is noticeable is the lack of humour and charm in Q.U.B.E. 2, BUT I found this commendable. The reason I felt that way was because it seemed like the creators realised there was no way they could top that characteristic of Portal so they did not even try and simply focused on the puzzles and gameplay. I was perfectly fine with this game not trying to entirely emulate, especially in this regard.
Controls were good although I did need to turn down the look sensitivities to help get the cursor on blocks to interact with them. One visual issue I noticed was in some areas that had overgrown grass on the floor would pop in and out of the game when moving, but it had no impact on the puzzle solving.
Ultimately, if you like puzzle games and specifically the aforementioned series then you should enjoy Q.U.B.E 2. As long as you go into the game keeping in mind it is NOT a Portal game and do not expect the laughs from characters will also probably help. The payoff was not too impressive and would I have been preferred it to be longer. The full price is a bit steep for what you get in-game length so waiting for a sale is ideal. It definitely filled a void for me on the Switch in the puzzle genre and recommended overall.
Platform: PC, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo
Release Date: 21/02/2019
No. of Players: 1
Category: Adventure, Platformer, Puzzle
Developer: Toxic Games
Publisher: Trapped Nerve Games
Download link: eShop