The title may sound like a fight about to kick off (“you, me and the cubes, aaht-side NAOW!”), but the truth is more elegant. Somewhere, perhaps in the depths of developer Kenji Eno’s mind, a dreamy landscape of smoky cubes has fallen out of whack. The universe needs rebalancing. Barack Obama’s busy; you’ll have to do.
A simple task: populate the cubes with Fallos, tiny people created inside the remote with a shake. Don’t laugh - this is how test tube babies work. With your remote rattling with life, you point and mark where you want the wee fellows to land, then flick to fling them. Life is unsteady for the Fallos, however. Each new inhabitant weighs upon and tilts the cube, falling to their doom should the incline prove too steep.
Fallos on every corner will balance a single cube. The universe approves, flashing pink to confirm your tidy calculation. But as further cubes grow, the structure’s axis is obscured and you find yourself desperately trying to correct imbalances caused by wandering Fallos and ill-judged flings. There’s real guilt when it all (as it will) goes wrong, the hanging Fallos resembling passengers tipping off the upended Titanic.
Levels grow wonkier, as do their obstacles. Panels bounce Fallos to their death. Others dictate how many Fallos can stand on them. A particularly mean addition forces you to throw a ghostly troublemaker into the mix, insistent on lifting the Fallos and upsetting the balance. Add a second player and synchronisation has to be factored in. It’s amazing how the puzzle keeps on building up and up.
At its heart, You, Me & the Cubes shares DNA with the Art Style games – a conundrum is rendered in an ambiguous, artsy style. But where the Art Style devs are a little conservative in their underpinning puzzles, staying within 2D realms, Eno’s 3D physics bubble with more potential. Truly original fun.
Oct 1, 2009