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Review: Lyle in Cube Sector
Lyle in the Cube
I've never really been a fan of klick platform games due mainly to the quality of them. With the exception of Gunner 1 & 2 there really hasn't been anything that has stood out. There seems to be lots of buzz around Lyle in the Cube and the some of the features stated in the game sounded interesting so I decided to check it out.
It starts with a small cut scene of Lyleís house, which explains how he lost his cat which them melds into the main menu. From this point it is clear to see that this game has its own distinctive style. Very retro but not in a Commodore 64 kind of way more of a Commode Amiga retro if you catch my drift. Its good to see a save feature was in the game, which many games nowadays lazily lack. The options aren't really option more of an explanation of what the keys do and how to switch to a smaller screen which is also a welcome feature although there is no slowdown time on full screen that I discovered. So not much of a story to be told and pretty much straight into action. So far not bad!
Now for the all-important factor. Controlling the character is pretty easy but I was quite shocked to find no attack moves of any kind, Just walk and jump First thing I tried to do is pick up a block but I couldn't. I was disappointed and though the whole game would be like this. Then I tried jumping on the baddies heads! Oh dear it did not work. I was beginning to loose hope but I did not realise that the lack of moves is a key ingredient in the game play value. The further you progress in the game the better moves you can obtain, which lets to proceed further in the level. The first move doesn't take long to find, and the game went up a huge notch in my book. This feature really works well in the game and is an interesting concept. After playing for 5 minutes or so it is clear that the whole game is based around the different blocks in the world. You kill bad guys with them, use them as stepping stones to cross water, use the velocity of the block to gain extra height and so on. Again this is an interesting concept. I know it resembles the Mario games slightly with the shells and even the mechanics of how the blocks react to the world but I have never seen a game entity dedicated to this style. So certainly an original concept. The game engine itself is quite impressive I couldn't find a single flaw in the game mechanics it seems very solid. However there are a few points which I felt let the game down a bit. When you carry a block to the next screen it just disappears. Also the block doesn't act as a shield while projectiles are thrown at you, They travel straight through it and cause damage. Disappointing but no major set back. The save game feature sets you back to your house, which is in the middle of the world. So if you die you are sent back to that stage and have to return to where you died. This is not as bad as it sounds as it doesn't take too long to get from one side of the world to another and your moves you have obtained are saved. There are also transporters which make hiking across the world unnecessary. The game claims to be linier and it kind of is. Although you can go anywhere you canít really progress until you get a certain move. So you canít achieve different goals in what ever order you want. The game is quite small with just 1 world, but just how many more things can you do with blocks before you start getting bored. Well not a lot to be honest, its impressive that the programmers managed to make a game based on this concept but any more than 3 worlds would be pushing it in my book. The game is short but the programmer utilizes allot of good ideas like the different kind of blocks having different abilities. A last mention goes to the bad guys, very original and varied. The guy who punches the blocks back at you with his hand being my favourite, another impressive feature.
Graphics & Presentation
The gameís graphics work for the look the game is trying to achieve. The character animations are not anything special but they donít really need to be. There are a few background animations as well as water effects but nothing great. The background vary quite a lot from stage to stage from the neon metropolis at the start of the game to a very cool scrolling cave like effect while travelling upwards to higher levels. Haven't seen anything like that in a click game before, very cool. Although some rooms seem to be a completely black backprop which certainly takes some professionalism out of things. The whole feel and style of the game could of been mistaken for an early Amiga 500 game like Magic Pockets or Garnia sisters, it really did not feel like a klick game. The map system is a simple but massively important feature. Overall the graphics and presentation are good.
Graphics and Music
Hate to keep saying retro but again the music work for the game. Different dance fusion tracks on every stage. The music is suited for the game although they all sound very similar but they merge together well as you progress through the game. Would of liked to have heared a over the top track to introduce the game but no matter. No voice over! Thank god. Overall sounds and music through out the game is good & original as far as I can tell.
Once the games finished it would be hard to have the motivation to play it again straight away other than to study it from a programming point of view. As itís quite short and allot of the games features are discovered at a fairly fast pace it would be easy to remember what to do and what's coming next. Maybe even a 2 player death match mode! now that would be cool. Having said that it will stay on my hard drive and maybe a long time from now I will check it out again.
This is a great little game and a welcome addition to the Klick community. Original and fun that gets better the more you play it. An excellent solid piece of programming. Full of good ideas and great game play if a bit on the short side. Still this is the best game to hit the click community this year IMO so check it out.
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