Photon Cube Review
Puzzle platforming meets the science of light with the release of SMILEAXE’s Photon Cube. Tasking players with directing multicolored beams to their proper sources, does this one deserve some time in the spotlight?
Photon Cube Review
To help dress up the world of Photon Cube, the development team has looked to the world of anime to make things positively cute. Players take control of the chibi little girl Ray and her mech Cu-Be, who is a “Carrier of Light” for the Cube Trailers. This organization sends her off to a number of different worlds, feeding the Photon beams of light into light condensers. The story here is pure, unadulterated fluff, but the art is well done, full of character, and polished to a shiny sheen. It has a surprisingly large budget, despite its low current $6.99 asking price on Steam.
Each of the seven Photon Beams cannot be touched directly, but Photon Cubes can be used to manipulate things in your favor. Each stage has Ray walking around a grid-based world, picking up, climbing over, pushing, and rotating cubes. Early stages are straightforward affairs that can be completed in a handful of moves, but things quickly ramp up into Rube Goldberg-esque affairs. Despite this, moves can just as easily be undone (up to eight times), and the game is fairly forgiving. It gets confusing, sure, but not frustrating.
Elements are slowly integrated into the mix the more things progress. Later stages have players combining colors, splitting beams, and carefully navigating sections. The game is fairly short overall, and there is typically an ideal solution for each level, but players can earn up to three stars on each stage for completing certain objectives. Planets can also be unlocked by completing License Skill Tests, which bring an added layer of challenge. These are all welcome touches, though there are no online leaderboards or achievements for players to gun for in the long run.
It’s just unfortunate that each world looks more or less the same. Backgrounds have a gray, washed out look to them, and music loops much earlier than you’d expect it to. Though the game has fairly solid production values, it also feels like the design for what really matters is somewhat spartan. As a result, everything starts to run together after a while – a crying shame with character designs as strong as these.
Photon Cube is a no frills puzzle game that will test your mind. Its aesthetics make each level run together fairly early on, but its depth will keep players coming back until each and every world is conquered.
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