TryCube 2 Review (iPhone)

Game Review: TryCube 2
Release: October 8, 2010
Genre: Puzzle
Developer: Dexetra
Available Platforms: iPhone and iPod Touch
Players: 1
MSRP: $0.99
ESRB Rating: 4+
Website: Dexetra Official Site

We all have messed with a Rubik’s Cube at some point in our life. Becoming elated at solving one side of the little devil box was a common occurrence at my house. Dexetra, the developers behind the new iPhone puzzle game TryCube 2, wants to remind you of all the frustration and reward of twisting a cube around in circles.

A simple set up accompanies the even simpler premise of the game. There is but one mode (besides the tutorial) and it’s simply a list of 32 levels for your brain numbing pleasure. The levels can each be replayed on difficulties ranging from easy to medium to hard. Each level presents you with a square 3D cube consisting of 27 smaller gray cubes and a couple of blue cubes. These blue boxes are the ones you will have to match together to solve the puzzle. At the bottom right of the screen you are given a picture of a flat 9 cubed 2D plane which consists of a pattern of blue cubes that you must replicate in your larger 3D version.

On easy difficulty it’s simply a matter of tapping a side of the cube and flipping it around until all the blue cubes match up nicely with the 2D picture. What’s cool here is that all the blue blocks need not be in the same plane. If you click a button you can cause the cube to become transparent and if angled correctly, your blue cubes, despite being in separate planes, could in fact create the shape you are looking for. Say you need a straight 3 cubed line, and have one on the top right, one in the middle, and one on the bottom left. From the side it will look almost like a staircase, but angle the cube to view it from the top, and presto, you have your 3 cubed line. There’s no timer, no countdown of any kind, so the game is as mellow and laid back as you want it to be.

This will immensely add to the game’s replay value; in one puzzle alone I’ve found about 5 different ways to solve it. It’s the kind of game that, despite the fact you’re simply matching up colored blocks, makes you feel really, really smart. Twisting the cube around to see what you’re working with is super simple to execute. The changes in difficulty are also very distinctive. You’re given the same puzzle to solve if you, let’s say, go from easy to hard on the same level. But they add more blue cubes into the 3D space. So instead of just having to solve the puzzle and be done, now you have to hide the other superfluous cubes behind the shape you have to make. These levels are pretty tough and be ready to spend a lot of time here, but it’s a welcome challenge.

I have very little gripes with the overall game, at the price it’s going for it’s hard to complain. However, I have had trouble selecting the correct plane I want to twist around on the cube, sometimes having to click and hold up to three times in succession. And despite loving the mellowness of taking my time to figure out the puzzles, some kind of time attack mode would be welcome. Or a tournament mode where you’re given a set amount of time and infinite puzzles to see how many can be solved before the clock runs out.

Mitchel’s Final Say

For a buck on the app store, though, this is a great deal. It’s a fun, simple and rewarding little puzzler that has tons of potential for future updates and enough replayability right now to warrant constant revisiting. There’s definitely room to grow here, and I’ve seen games raise in price when new modes or features are added, so I wholeheartedly recommend to jump in on this now.

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