Space Qube: Destroy Aliens, Create Ships [Review]


Space Qube

Every once in a while, an alien threat arises that is so malevolent and so heinous that the only thing to do is send a one-man ship out into space to take them all on singlehandedly.

Space Qube by Qubit Games
Category: iOS Games
Works With: iPhone, iPad
Price: $0.99 (discounted from $2.99)

Alright, so that’s never happened in the history of ever, but in video games, it’s been going on at least since Space Invaders in 1978. And it is in this fine tradition of lonely, foolish heroism that we have Space Qube, a new shooter for the iPhone and iPad. If you’ve played any “One ship vs. all aliens” game before, you know what to expect here: The ship goes back and forth; the aliens fly in distinct patterns and shoot at you; you pick up powerups; and every once in a while, you fight a boss.

And if that’s all it did, I would say that Space Qube is very capable and leave it at that. But it has one extra feature that makes it stand out.

It’s not enough for this title to just let players mow down waves of vicious enemies. It also has a creator in which they can design their own ships. It reminds me a lot of the character creator in developer Silicon Studios’ 2010 Zelda clone for the PlayStation 3, 3D Dot Game Heroes. Just like in that game, everything in the world — or universe in this case, because space — is made of individual blocks, and you build your masterpiece up one layer at a time.

It has one extra feature that makes it stand out: The content creator.

You can freely rotate your model, copy layers, and change the colors of your blocks. Like all user-created content systems, it takes a little patience to get something you can be proud of, but if you just want to check out what other people have created, you can do that and download their ships to use in your own game. It even has a feature that will allow you to 3D-print your creations, and that’s cool, but I’m not sure I know anyone who can use that feature. [Yet! –Ed.]

As far as the game part of the game goes, it’s fine. It has a few control options: You can tap or tilt to move, drag to dodge, and shooting can be manual or automatic. I preferred the tilt controls for movement over the less precise touch versions, and I didn’t mind letting the game control my guns. It has all the usual powerups, too, like shields, spread shots, and time-slower-downers.

I don’t have a whole lot more to say about it. It does everything it should, and it’s fine to play. But the real draw here is the creation system, and if you don’t believe me, know this: Someone built a ship shaped like Nyan Cat. I’m not sure what else I need to say.

Space QubeGame Name: : Space Qube
The Good: Cool user-created content system, shooting aliens never gets old.
The Bad: Game part is fun, but doesn’t do anything new.
The Verdict: If you want to shoot some things in space and play around with a neat content creator, I can’t think of a better place to go.
Buy from: App Store