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Review: Lyle in Cube Sector
Author: The Chris Street
Added: 21/11/2010

This review was originally written for the doomed Clickzine four years ago. I found it on my hard-drive and thought I'd add it.

Over the next few weeks I'll be adding more reviews of older games - from TDC to the old Klik-Me website (also snuffed it).

Recently, a tidal surge of mediocrity has plagued the community, with sour tasting games released which were created in a matter of hours - which is why Lyle In Cube Sector is such a tantalising, delicious, chocolate frosted treat. Definately not past its sell-by-date then. And Bogo47, rather than creating another of his standard platformers (read: the Peetwo series), has instead spent five months crafting and fine-tuning - yes, you guessed it - a platformer. But this time, a platformer that shows initiative. A platformer which requires exploration. A platformer that, although fairly short in terms of length, is always guarenteed to be nothing less than a riot.

The story is nothing less than cliched - although this time you are not required to save a princess, or to reclaim a stolen cereal box toy from your evil brother - instead, you need to, quite simply, reclaim your stolen cat, which a light fingered thief has made off with. Really, the story is tacked on, and you don't see hide nor hair of your pet and kidnapper again until the final boss confrontation - but it is an excuse to get out there and have some fun.

Lyle's gameplay deviates somewhat from the normal platform games of yore. Instead of jumping on bad guys heads, or shooting them with oversized and overpowered weapons, you... throw blocks at them. Pick up a block while standing on it, and you'll wield a powerful, dangerous weapon to obliterate enemies. However, if used poorly, these blocks can hurt you too - mainly by bouncing off objects right into your (initially) rather weak and pathetic body. Initially, however, you won't have any abilities whatsoever; these must be earned by exploring and exploring well. Soon though, you'll be able to throw basic blocks around. Eventually you'll earn the right to create blocks in mid-air, and use them to boost your jumping - essential to progress to the end of the game.

The enemies however, are going to work hard to stop you achieving this goal. There are all kinds of critters populating the areas, and the further you progress, naturally, the more challenging their behaviour and patterns are. In fact, many of the enemies are exceptionally difficult to avoid, and it's often practically impossible to wander through an area unscathed. Although saying that, powerups are readily available, hidden inside certain types of cube - so the difficulty balance is restored slightly. The boss battles are ridiculously easy, however - I only perished once, and that was on the first part of the final boss due to the rate of the enemy fire. I'm not going to spoil these battles by revealing what they are, but they are all good fun.

Lyle In Cube Sector doesn't have advanced graphics. In actuality, the pixel style resembles that of early '80's arcade games. So, retro would perhaps be an ideal word, then. If you are put off by the poor quality (at least, compared to todays standards) then you are missing the point entirely, as Lyle has been solely designed with retro in mind, harking back to the good old days of addictive, just-one-more-go gameplay. Personally I bloody love the graphics, they are well animated and feature layers of parallax that work beautifully - even though parallaxing was unheard of back in the day. Although simplistic, the graphical interface drips a charm that would have a waterfall gushing with envy.

For the audio, well, you have the bog standard NES-style sound effects. It ties in well with the retro theme, as do the chip tunes which can be heard. All have been exceptionally well selected - but they aren't original, having been taken from various sources. Mind you, it's hardly fair to downgrade a game based on some talentless bum's inability to create music So I'm not going to do that.

Instead, I'm going to give Lyle In Cube Sector a very nice, high score. It does very little wrong, and so much right. If the game had, perhaps, been twice as long as it is, then I wouldn't exactly be hesitant in awarding a perfect ten. For now, the score awarded below is perfect sufficient in my eyes - and it's a very well deserved score, especially for such brilliance created in just five months.

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See main review :)

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