Art Style: Cubello Review

Greetings! This is Cubello. Let’s play the game!

By Aaron Roberts. Posted 08/17/2010 11:30 6 Comments     ShareThis
The Final Grade
1-Up Mushroom for...
Solid system, minimalist style
Poison Mushroom for...
Annoying bonus reels

Art Style: Cubello Screenshot

One of many Art Style games on the WiiWare and DSiWare download services, Cubello is different primarily because it is an original game.  Most other ArtStyle games are remnants of the Japanese-only bit: Generations games for Game Boy Advance, but Cubello had never seen the light of day before appearing on WiiWare.

Cubello also differs from the norm in that it uses three-dimensional graphics, although not to the same extent as Super Mario 64.  Appearing as if it jumped right off the computer screens in Star Trek: The Next Generation, Cubello involves matching like-colored cubes, something reminiscent of Bust-A-Move or Hexic, but on a three-dimensional scale.  The player aims and fires a single cube with the Wii Remote at a spot on the drifting, rotating cube cluster, and if the fired cube attaches to four or more like-colored and adjacent cubes, the adjacent cubes will disappear from the larger cluster.

Art Style: Cubello Screenshot

Ultimately, the gamer is tasked with removing all colored cubes from the cluster, leaving only the “Cubello,” which is a metallic cube at the core of the cluster. The cube cluster also slowly drifts towards the gamer’s screen during play; firing cubes at it will spin and push it back, but if it gets too close and “hits” your television screen, you’re penalized, and taking too long to strip cubes will cause more to sprout from the cluster, making your job that much more work.

The game is full of style, pardon the pun, featuring a stark white background, various color schemes of multi-colored cubes, and a synthesized Stephen Hawking-like voice blandly giving instructions in the background.  Successfully matching and removing cubes from the cluster fills up the “magazine” of available cubes to shoot:  it’s game over if the magazine goes completely empty before the cube cluster is cleaned away.

Art Style: Cubello Screenshot

Making matches also powers up a slot machine-like element that rewards a power-up (“bonus tiiiiime”) of temporary, unlimited ammo of a specific color when active.  This slot machine element is constantly rotating in the top right corner of the screen and making noise, which can be a bit of a distraction at times.

The 3D plane definitely affords for a new take on the puzzle genre, and with pre-arranged puzzles and an “endless” mode, Cubello provides more than a bit of entertainment for the download.  Despite not being based on an older or simpler kind of gameplay, this is one Art Style game that’s worth checking out.

6 Responses to “Art Style: Cubello Review”

  • 183 points
    Williaint says...

    Tetrisphere’s better.

    • 702 points
      Matthew Tidman says...

      Oh snap! Someone’s been owned now.

    • 360 points
      M. Noah Ward says...

      Oooo… you compared a full retail game to a downloadable title? I am a supreme Tetrisphere fan, but it didn’t immediately come to mind when I played Cubello. There are definitely similarities though. But which is better? I don’t think I’d say one is better than the other. I’d say it’s a tie. Cubello feels more accessible, but Tetrisphere has more modes and power-ups.

  • 1332 points
    Andrew Hsieh says...

    You know, I despise puzzle games, but this one looks especially puzzle-y enough for me to try it. Does that make sense? Maybe it’s ‘cos it looks FLIPPIN’ INSANE

  • 360 points
    M. Noah Ward says...

    Something not mentioned in the review– aside from the rockin’ Speak-and-Spell narrator and the goofy 8-bit slot machine sound effects– is the sound design while playing. Instead of a traditional soundtrack, you hear random chimes, blips and ticks that are something like a mix of being down the street from a clock store or listening to the start/end of class time chimes at a Japanese school, as carried along by the wind. Totally random but it really works.

  • 697 points
    Adam Sorice says...

    Does this remind you of Kalto?

    It’s the only Star Trek cube based game that comes to mind. Tuvok was bad ass at it.

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