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Review: Omnicube is Purely Puzzles, and That’s Okay

Screenshot: Omnicube

Are you tired of puzzle games not being hard enough? Well, developer Trykon Studios has a game for you. Omnicube is tough. While most games have puzzle elements, Omnicube is a pure puzzle experience.

Screenshot: Omnicube

Based entirely on sliding block puzzles, Omnicube takes this puzzle mechanic and explores its implementation in as many ways as possible. The concept is simple: you have to slide blocks around until they get into their matching colored square. Blocks don’t stop unless they come in contact with another block. It sounds simple. It’s not.

Omnicube does an okay job of easing you into the mechanics, but it gets so hard so quickly there isn’t a difficulty curve, but a difficulty cliff. I started to get stumped after the first few levels. When I finally did finish a puzzle, I got something that a lot of other puzzle games only attempt: satisfaction. I felt genuinely clever after struggling with particularly hard puzzles and finally figuring them out.

Screenshot: Omnicube

Even if Omnicube is a breeze for you, there are a few reasons to come back and play through its 60 levels. Every move you make in your puzzle solving attempt is counted against you. The fewer moves you make, the more stars you’ll earn. Try to get three stars in every level for the maximum challenge.

Screenshot: Omnicube

While blocks stop against walls or other blocks, you have to avoid holes and wall-less areas that drop your blocks into an abyss, instantly failing your puzzle. Some blocks will explode when they hit anything other than another block, further complicating puzzle solving.

Screenshot: Omnicube

While there isn’t any story, per se, you are constantly heckled by the Omnicube itself. He really doesn’t seem to think whoever is attempting his puzzles to be intellectually capable of accomplishing them, and he lets you know this constantly. Though the dialogue isn’t the most cleverly written, the Omnicube is delightfully acerbic in a way that makes me want to best his puzzles to spite him, that jerk.

My biggest complaint, besides the difficulty (if that can be a genuine complaint), is the user interface and art style. While the UI is incredibly clever, it isn’t very intuitive. The muted, slightly off-putting minimal art style didn’t help me discover how to access the menu, other puzzles, etc.  The music isn’t much better, either, but it’s never overly intrusive.

There isn’t very much to Omnicube except for pure puzzle gameplay, and that’s okay if that’s what you want. If you’re looking for something more, this isn’t your game. But if you want  puzzles that will challenge you for a good while, Omnicube might just scratch that itch—it’s available now on Steam.

 

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