Escape the Cube is a challenging level based puzzle game. The basic concept of the game is that you are a political prisoner in an interstellar prison with shifting gravity designed to keep you from being able to escape. In order to escape, you need to use a limited number of blaster shots and the ability to change the gravity of your prison to get keys off guards and continue to advance through the levels. There are 18 levels and 4 levels of difficulty ranging from easy to expert. The graphics are very simplistic but easy to understand and aesthetically pleasing. The fact that you only have a limited number of blaster shots, with the only way to get more shots being killing guards. This is an amazing game mechanic, making it much more believable that you are in fact escaping from a prison.
Normally when I see a game with “Escape” in the title, I’m expecting something fairly straight forward that I would play once and never again where you escape from something by solving simple puzzles. This game was a much more complicated puzzle, too the point where I’m willing to compare it to Braid. The fact that you can change the direction of gravity (and the orientation of the screen) causes for a lot of headaches early on in the learning curve. To counter this, the levels are built in such a way where you can adjust to what things in the environment do and learn to solve the puzzles slowly. I found the tutorial level to be very useful. At about level 10, I started to have problems being to beat levels, but it was still enjoyable even though I was beating my head against the wall trying to figure out the puzzle.
One thing that did confuse me a bit about this game is that Addicting Games lists it as “Cube Master” and searching for “Escape the Cube” doesn’t result in finding it even though that is what the title screen says. This was more than just a bit perplexing when I went looking for it the second time.
And so the rating. I enjoyed this game, despite it being simplistic graphics. The mechanics were interesting and made sense in the game world. While finding the game is difficult, this isn’t the designer’s fault and rests firmly on Addicting Games. I will award Escape the Cube with a 4 out of 5.
Escape The Cube is available at http://www.addictinggames.com/escape-the-cube-game.html