Cubixx - puzzling for points
Now that points usually double as in-game currencies, it’s easy to forget that in the days of smoky arcade halls they existed for the raw appeal of high score glory. But Laughing Jackal clearly hasn’t forgotten the time when the best games had people’s used chewing gum stuck under the controls, for its latest creation - Cubixx HD – is an ode to points for points’ sake.
Cubixx HD Vs Qix
It’s essentially a riff on Qix – the ageing coin-op where the goal was to claim portions of the screen by steering an 8-bit blob while dodging glowing lines and other 8-bit blobs. Cubixx HD reworks Qix’s land grabbing action to a 3D cube where you slice through its six faces until you’ve got rid of enough to move to the next level.
What lifts this beyond a simple, if pretty, remake however is the way it sucks you into chasing points. Its primary weapon is that it shows you your position on the leaderboard after every go, highlighting just how close you were to moving up a few rungs every time.
Cubixx HD – highest score possible
And once you start playing for points the game becomes more exciting because to get the highest score possible you need to take risks: longer lines give more points but involve a greater risk of death, power ups that slow you down rack up points but again expose you to even greater danger. At every step it nudges players towards danger with the promise of points, so that its simple action ends up packed with near misses and ‘almost made it’ failures.
Enjoyable as this is, Cubixx HD is a one-trick pony – the variations on offer add little. Yet the prospect of crawling another step up the leaderboard is enough to tempt you back now and again.