While we don't currently have many details on the upcoming WiiWare version, I was able to spend a couple of hours with the PC version of the game and you can check out my impressions below along with the official PC game play trailer for the game.
The basic game play behind Cube: Gardens of Zen is quite simple in design. You basically maneuver a cube around a giant cube-shaped level in one of four seasons. Your task is to gather up the required number of scrolls in order to proceed to the next level. You can roll your cube around in any one of four directions, even off the sides of the giant cube. The one catch is that you must have an object on the side of the cube your falling onto in order to keep your cube from falling completely off the giant cubed level. It might sound a bit odd, but it doesn't take long to get the hang of it all.
The first few levels are quite easy and just basically give you an opportunity to come to grips with the control scheme. There's really not much to it. You can move your cube in four directions using the d-pad and you can rotate the giant cubed level around to view the various sides using the action button. You'll quickly find that rotating the level around is a must if you're to have any chance of beating the more difficult and intricate levels of the game.
As the levels progress the scrolls become more difficult to reach, not to mention the ever-increasing number of hazards that come into play. Everything from water hazards to crumbling bridges will cause you to analyze each and every move you make in order to successfully traverse the tricky levels. The last level of each season generally requires you to locate a character in order to progress on to the next season. While it's quite easy to breeze through the early levels, you'll find that the difficulty will quickly pick up once you progress past the first season.
The overly simple control scheme and mind-bending puzzles are a nice combination and should fit the WiiWare service to a tee. The game is extremely easy to pick up and play in a very short amount of time and there's plenty of easy levels early on to warm up on. The later levels prove to be quite challenging, perhaps too much so for some who will find them frustrating until the solution can be discovered. A lot of it depends on your level of commitment as you'll find yourself playing many of the later levels quite a few times before you finally stumble onto the solution. Those who like a good puzzle game should feel right at home, but those who are easily frustrated with this type of game might want to think twice before diving into this mind-bending puzzler.
The visuals are colorful and pleasing to the eye, but don't expect a lot of detail since the majority of the action takes place on the one giant cube. While the scenery changes with each new season, it can be a long stretch viewing the same basic visual theme in the many levels of each season. After 10-15 levels in the same season, you'll be welcoming the change when you finally do reach a new season.
The oriental-style music in Cube: Gardens of Zen is quirky at times but you can't argue that it fits the action and the scenery quite well. A little more variety might have been nice, but given the nature of the game, it's difficult to fault what the developers were trying to do with the audio package. You can get a little taste of the game's unique musical score in the game play trailer below if you're still curious as to what you can expect from the game's audio experience.
Cube: Gardes of Zen isn't going to revolutionize the puzzle genre, but it does so many things right that it's almost impossible not to like the game. It's basically everything a good game should be with its simple game play scheme and addictive puzzles that never seem to end. Puzzle fans should find a lot to like with the game and even those who aren't big on the rather large number of puzzlers we've already seen on the WiiWare service might want to at least consider giving the game a chance. With 100 levels, you're going to get a lot of bang for your buck with this unique WiiWare title.
We'll have more information on Cube: Gardens of Zen as it becomes available, as well as a full review when the game hits the WiiWare service.
probably not for me... seems interesting though.
Cube: Gardens of Zen was surprisingly fun. We'll try to round up some more information on the game soon.
I'm probably in the same boat as Bass; I've got quite a lot of puzzlers already. This looks nice though and I'm sure it will find an audience.
I think it looks awesome-outrageous-cool, and I'm already in line to buy it.
This actually looks pretty cool...
Looks like a cross between 3D Login and a platform-based puzzle game. It could be interesting, I suppose. I guess we'll see.
Meh. I saw a similar game ages ago. It was crap then - I don't see this being any different. No doubt someone will buy it.
Not me though.
Looks kinda cool.
GAH! STUPID PUZZLE GAMES! :explodes:
Looks alright, but not my style.
I watched the trailer. I don't know what the [email protected]%^ I just saw, but I like it.
Wii-Ware developers: STOP MAKING PUZZLE GAMES!
I've played many games similar to this, but none that looked as appealing or as fun. And if it's as fun as Corbie says, than consider me excited.
Looks intriguing for sure, the only puzzler I've actually downloaded so far is Dr Mario so I'll see how this goes, I'm very finicky with my puzzlers
Definitely a game for me.
Can't wait to find out release date details.
@Corbie: Thanks for the info (I guess my comment in the Fuzzy interview helped. Just say yes to make me feel better ). Anyway, I saw the WiiFolder video tour and it looks very good.
@Atlantis1982: I generally agree, but only really for falling block puzzle games. This looks very unique, not a Tetris clone.
Meh, I can see this game aggravating me every time it turns over to a new side of the block. Not my kind of puzzle game.
Of course Bahamut ZERO. I had seen the game, but when you commented on it that's when I decided to give the PC version a try and write up some impressions. We've set up an interview as well that we should have up in a week or so. Maybe the developers can shed some light on what we can expect from the WiiWare version of the game.
@ Tides of Chaos - You control when the giant cube spins, the game doesn't do it for you.
@Corbie: Yay, I somehwat had an effect on WWW
This looks like a good puzzle game!
@Bahamut Zero: You should've asked for some gameplay videos of cave story!
But I digress.
Corbie, what do you think would make this title more appeling?
A little more diversity in the scenery. I realize that they're using the 4 seasons as a theme, but the seasons gradually feature more levels so the Autumn season was a long one with a ton of levels and very little change of scenery throughout it. The puzzles themselves are really good and feature a nice and gradual increase in difficulty. Overall it's pretty good and I enjoyed it.
Looks pretty cool, but I'm not really the puzzler type.
This one intrigues me. Puzzlers are my favorite genre, but I have been disappointed by mainly that have appeared on WiiWare thus far. I'll have to watch this one.
Any news on a release date?
The developers are targeting a late 2009 release date. This one is still very early on in development apparently.
@Corbie: Hey, thats good. That means there is a lot more time to fix any issues and polish everything.
The changing of sides looks annoying and it doesnt seem to be my thing. Best of luck to the devs though.
Hmmm... has potential, even if it is another puzzle game
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