It's only been two months since TribePlay released their first Facebook game. But the brainiacs that brought us BrainJewel, an Egyptian-themed math and logic game, have now debuted their second game ever, a sci-fi themed falling blocks puzzler for Facebook called "Cube Galaxy". While brain games are a rarity on Facebook, puzzlers are a popular genre dominated by two greats -- PopCap's Bejeweled Blitz and Wooga's Diamond Dash.
Available in English, German, French, Portuguese, and Chinese, Cube Galaxy was made in Chengdu, the capitol of Sichuan province in China. This game's got all the bells and whistles of your typical Facebook puzzler, including 60-second rounds, the option to purchase boosts with coins or Facebook Credits, the ability to send friends virtual gifts, compare scores with your friends, and a weekly leaderboard. In fact, Cube Galaxy bears a striking resemblance to Diamond Dash. Those basics aside, it does manage to offer a few new twists in terms of gameplay.
Your goal is to eliminate cubes on the screen by arranging them in groups of 3 or more. But these cubes can be moved one at a time, at your discretion, and they also don't disappear unless you decide they're good enough to zap away. The pace of the game feels faster than either Diamond Dash or Bejeweled Blitz, even though these rounds only last a minute. This is because you're handling a smaller playing field, one that starts off empty, then quickly fills up randomly, just like Tetris.
Before a round, you can add boosts to your game, but not all of them are unlocked until you level up. During a round, if you earn points fast enough, your screen will go into Overdrive, which nets you special items for higher scores. Finally, each round concludes with something called "Last Blow", which zaps all the blocks off your board that's in groups of 3 or more. Needless to say, it's in your best interests to keep shuffling blocks until the final second, even if you can't click on those blocks to zap them. Points earned during Last Blow get an added percentage bonus based on what level you're at. For example, if you're at Level 3, you get a +3% added to your Last Blow points.
While Cube Galaxy offers very little that's new, it's still a solid title with a nice aesthetic and a mascot. It'd be nice if TribePlay took further advantage of their sci-fi theme and adorable alien, "QT" (which is Chinese keyboard slang for "cutie"), such as turning him into a virtual buddy, to offer user customizations for the game. Some good examples would be enabling players to purchase backgrounds, interactive animations (hey, "durable virtual goods that enable new gameplay experiences" have definitely worked for The Sims Social), and costumes for QT to wear. Since the game is currently still in beta, one can hope. Right now, there's just not much helping this title stand above the rest.
Click here to play Cube Galaxy on Facebook now >
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