Review: Not Just Another Cube-Based Puzzle, The Last Cube Is Pretty to Look at and Frequently Brilliant

Screenshot: The Last Cube It’s rare for a puzzle game to be so compelling, but it was hard for me to put down The Last Cube from the moment I first picked it up. It has a blend of puzzles that made me feel clever blended with others that really stumped me. The Last Cube is a puzzle game with some narrative elements. In it, you navigate a cube through a series of puzzles. These puzzles are usually solved by using different abilities which are imbued to your cube through symbols. When these symbols are facing upwards, you can use that symbol’s ability.  The concept sounds simple, but The Last Cube uses its different powers to make a varied puzzle experience that kept me surprised throughout. While puzzle games are more easy or difficult depending on the person, I found that The Last Cube’s challenges were the perfect mixture of mildly challenging to difficult—but not stumped-for-hours difficult—that kept my forward momentum, but never felt too easy. Not only does The Last Cube feature some seriously tough but fun puzzles, it’s not terrible to look at. My first impression was that the presentation of The Last Cube was a tad pretentious—and it is, but it never gets in the way of the gameplay. There is a loose story that brings together the world of The Last Cube, but it can be ignored if you want. The Last Cube also features varied environments, so along with its puzzles, its aesthetics never get stale—and for a game where you’re controlling a cube, that’s an achievement. Not only is the game pretty to look at, but it’s also fun to play. Puzzle games frequently ignore the user experience and focus on puzzles. The Last Cube feels great to play, with responsive controls that would feel snappy enough to be in a platformer. Sometimes you’ll need those controls to do time-based puzzles, so I’m grateful to the extra attention there. The Last Cube isn’t perfect—though it’s hard to find faults. Despite how ingenious some of the puzzles are, The Last Cube would still benefit from a hint system. Most of the puzzles hit right in that sweet spot of difficult, but not too difficult for me, but there was one puzzle that had me step away from The Last Cube for a couple of days. The Last Cube is my favorite puzzle game of the year so far—and I bet it’ll be hard for a puzzler to top it. It has great pacing, varied puzzles, and gameplay that just feels good to play. While you’re just controlling a cube, the different abilities you acquire through The Last Cube’s stamp system significantly changes what you can do with your cube. If you have any interest in puzzlers, this is one you shouldn’t miss.   The Last Cube is available for PC via Steam and for PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch as well as Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S.         A Steam key was provided to us for this review.  
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Antal Bokor

Antal is video game advocate, retro game collector, and video game historian. He is also a small streamer, occasional podcast guest, and writer.