Cubis Creatures is a fun puzzler with plenty of personality and polish
Everything was going so well as the titular creatures gathered around one of their kind, who decided to celebrate this momentous occasion by performing a magic trick. But gadzooks! Something went wrong, and now all of the other Cubis Creatures have fallen into a magical sleep! Now it’s up to you to break the spell so they can awaken from their magic-induced slumber.
Okay, so it’s not exactly the most riveting narrative for an iOS game. In fact, the story and characters are pretty inessential to the gameplay, but add a harmless and rather inoffensive bit of dressing to what is actually a fairly addictive match-three puzzle game. Well, unless you’re seriously bothered by cute, fluffy, and – above all else – bizarre creatures. This is the sort of thing which could seriously hurt your man-cred, should you worry about such things and get caught playing.
But for the rest of us, there are 80 levels to play through, spread across four creatures with more available via in-app purchase. There are also daily “Cubis Tournaments” for playing against others around the globe to see who can rule the Leaderboards (and the eventual plan to offer real-world prizes to the winners of those competitions). However, there is no accounting for how far you’ve gone into the game when playing the Cubis Tournaments, and they can/will start you on higher levels than you’ve progressed to if you partake.
The game itself is fairly straightforward… at least, at first. It takes place on a 7×7 grid placed in one of the creatures’ mouths, and your goal is to fill a meter on the side by matching as many colored blocks as you can. The board is arranged to face the player in a diamond formation, and you can move your pieces across the lower sides of the grid before launching them. If there is nothing in the way, then the block crosses the board unimpeded, but hitting different types of blocks can have different effects. Some examples include cracked blocks, which can be shattered by shooting a block through them; wedge blocks, which elevate blocks they run into; and other regular blocks which move one square when hit, provided no other blocks are behind it.
There are a variety of destructive tools to help you as well. For example, a laser orb shoots a beam across the board, disintegrating whichever single block it hits, including the immobile grey blocks which serve as obstacles. Meanwhile, bombs shake things up by detonating a radius around wherever it hits, and can even knock the floating grey blocks down to the ground.
Certain levels provide interesting challenges by only providing a limited array of blocks or items to use. For instance, you might have nothing but green blocks to launch, and must use them to help move blocks of other colors into position. Or you may have nothing but lasers, which you must then use to disintegrate the grey blocks which stand in the way of matching other colored blocks. These levels tend to be relatively fun and easy, and help break up the more routine action of the game.
Each level has a time limit and the three-star scoring system which is commonly found in many games these days. Cubis Creatures doesn’t start out too difficult, though there were some pretty close encounters with the final seconds of the clock. Things do ramp up a bit by the time you wake up the first creature, and it becomes a more challenging game from there.
All in all, Cubis Creatures is a fun entry into the puzzle genre, and is definitely worth a look for anyone who considers themselves a mobile puzzler.