First-person titles are some of the most immersive, simply because the player is put into the shoes of whoever they’re playing. Doing puzzles in first person creates a unique experience of having to really step back and take a look at everything one bit at a time and the first Q.U.B.E. managed to pull this off well with their use of colors and shapes. Now it’s back in a grander sequel, with more puzzles and an even bigger emphasis on the story going on around this shifting world of blocks.
The story of Q.U.B.E. 2 begins with a young archaeologist who has woken up on a strange yet familiar alien planet, with only one fellow survivor around to help guide her. The only thing she has to use is a pair of special gloves, which allow her to manipulate various buttons and colored blocks when she’s within range of them. It will take all her wit to solve puzzles as the two communicate along the way in order to figure out how exactly what happened and how to find their way home.
For those unfamiliar with the original gameplay of Q.U.B.E., the core concept is the use of different colored blocks that have different properties in order to maneuver through puzzle-filled rooms. Often these colored blocks will already be in the room and simply need to be activated, but often times the player will need to decide to place a color to fit a particular trait. Some colors will create a solid block that can be stood on, others will create a platform that extends out from whatever it was placed and some might even create a platform that propels whatever is on it upward. The puzzles start out simple as an introduction to those new and returning, but very quickly progress to using clever thinking in order to keep moving forward.
Q.U.B.E. 2 adds a new layer to the original, with the inclusion of brand new kinds of puzzles and even organic life tossed into the mix. Compared to the white and clean look of the surrounding area in the original title, Q.U.B.E. 2 twists in more color and interesting terrain while still making what the player can manipulate clear so focus can stay on the puzzles. While areas filled with puzzles are still the main focus, this time around players will get to see a lot more than just room after room. While puzzles themselves may be quite a lot of trial and error to solve, each one is gratifying when finally managing to figure out the solution.
It’s not often that such a clever first-person puzzle titles make an appearance and Q.U.B.E. 2 manages to be clever, challenging and a rewarding feeling overall to play. Any puzzle title will take some time to ease players into the rhythm, but Q.U.B.E. 2 does well with the use of clear objectives while managing to be extremely thought-provoking along the way. Players can get a taste of Q.U.B.E. 2 and all the puzzles that await when it launches early 2018.