How much fun can one really have with a cube? XenoCube HD (sold separately for iPhone and iPod touch for $.99) by Digital Embryo pushed the limit of fun one could possibly have with a floating neon colored cube to a whole new level. Fortunately, for them and gamers alike it is a good first try at iOS game development.
XenoCube is a very basic game that features a revolving floating cube. Players are then tasked with matching three or more tiles in a line across the cube. It’s this basic game mechanic that makes up the bulk of XenoCube. Fortunately the game is stretched across five different game modes that have players doing things ranging from completing each level before their energy runs out in Zen Mode to scoring as many points as possible in Hyper Mode.
However there is one thing that truly stands out and sets XenoCube apart from its competitors. It uses augmented reality. In augmented reality mode, players point their iOS device cameras at a special card that can be found here. It’s using this card, that players can decide where (using their camera) the cube appears. Due to a lack of a printer, the card was simply used on a laptop screen and worked perfectly on it.
Additionally the level of detail to making the game feel like it’s in 3D is absolutely astounding. When players tilt their device the game menus move alongside them. The same goes for the gameplay as well, with players being given the option to not even look at the cube as they play the game. Fortunately, if players find the 3D to be too much to handle they can turn down the 3D effect in the game menu.
Despite its great atmosphere there are a few points in which XenoCube does come short. One of the most profound issues with the game is a control issue. Maintaining a manageable cube rotation speed proved to be a challenge until lowering the spin sensitivity completely took care of any problems with controls.
Unfortunately at times the tilt controls proved to be more of a hindrance than a neat addition. Luckily the tilt controls can be turned off at any moment, and anything wrong with the cube speed controls can most likely be easily fixed with a quick update. A more varied game space would also have been a welcome addition. Playing with the same sized cube seemed to get repetitive, so some varying shapes and sizes would do a lot to bring players back into the game.
Overall, XenoCube is a solid package with some interesting new features that are sure to have puzzle fanatics occupied for quite a while.