We've been hearing a lot about this game from our community, so we have been beyond excited to try it. Cubism is a classic puzzle game, elevated for VR with a 3D twist. Cubism is a rock solid VR game, with outstanding visuals, ambiance, and interaction, that has perfected every detail of a simple puzzle. Since its launch in September of 2020, Cubism has since earned itself a band of supportive fans.
The premise of the game is simple: you're given a 3d wireframe space that you must fill with smaller puzzle pieces. You can place, rotate, and the pieces into place to completely fill out the empty shape of the puzzle. There are several levels of difficulty, that increase as you play. It starts with an obvious 5X5X1 shape, then quickly develops into 3D puzzles. The game also does a great job of teaching as you go. You never get more than one new concept at once, so you never really get stumped or overwhelmed by the challenges. It keeps you on your toes without making you want to tear your headset off in frustration.
Key Interaction Patterns
As far as cubism's user interface, the app is clean, and consistent. Buttons complement the puzzle components without distraction. Controls on the joysticks are intuitive and delightful. You really only use the trigger button on one remote (while you can use both if you would like to). It is used primarily to grab, hold, and drag puzzle pieces around the space.
- Clear task, learn as you go
- Intuitive and minimal controls
- Engaging and non-fatiguing, feels relaxing through the whole experience
- Cohesive experience from the landing page
- Kind of expensive for a simple puzzle game ($9.99) but hey, you pay for quality and the quality is definitely top notch
- Repetitive gameplay- theres not much more to it than a series of puzzles
The only slight frustration we had while exploring the app was how you sometimes had to twist your hand quite awkwardly to slide a puzzle piece into place. With further experimentation though, the issue was easily resolved by passing the piece to your other hand, or simply releasing the piece and picking it back up again. The interactions were extremely natural and we found ourselves adjusting our thoughts from "How does the game want me to do this?" to "How would I do this in real life?". We were delighted to find that Cubism's creator's had developed for their players' instincts.
One interaction we would add is having puzzle pieces snap together outside of the main frame. It would be nice to build independently and experiment in a small area before adding any unfinished ideas to the main puzzle. This would be especially useful with later, more difficult puzzles that have several pieces and a lot of internal intricacies.
Cubism's visuals are undeniably satisfying. The design is cool and minimalist, with smooth shadows and a relaxed interface. The app utilizes a wireframe style for its buttons and views which is mirrored in the puzzle space to be completed at each level. The puzzle pieces are the only stray from the otherwise greyscale app, but it is more than enough to add visual interest. Each puzzle piece is a different color which is a necessary contrast while building each puzzle. The elements are either perfect squares, or multiples of squares, making the entire app feel very neat and orderly, especially with the rigid corners on each box.
Unlike most VR games and experiences we have tried, Cubism stands out with its truly mesmerizing and seamless environment. A mix of simplicity and ambiance, Cubism encourages focus and relaxation, without the usual fatigue that accompanies VR games. The landscape is calming and the puzzles are an encouraging blend of challenge and satisfaction. We found that even after spending a good thirty minutes working out a tough puzzle, the solution always seemed a step away.
Overall, Cubism is a design feat and an outstanding VR game. Each element plays into the next and enhances the entire experience. Its an incredibly enjoyable play, and offers