Cube World Wasn't Worth The Wait

In asking me to write about this game, released on Steam today after six years in the wilderness, Stephen said that I’d been very excited about Cube World back in 2012. And I had been! Back in 2012. A lot has changed since.

Cube World’s time out of the public eye has resulted in a final release that is notably different from its popular alpha, especially when it comes to levelling (which is gone), region-locked equipment (you can’t take stuff from one biome to another) and the hang glider (which now sucks).

One of the reasons I was so into it (at least on paper) back in 2012 was that it sounded (and looked, obviously, given its similar art style) like a gamier version of Minecraft. I get that Mojang’s classic has its millions of fans, but its open-ended nature never really appealed to me. I thought Cube World’s tighter focus and RPG elements would take the stuff I did like about Minecraft — its procedurally-generated worlds and a feeling of real boundlessness — and reign them into something more structured.

Cube World does this, but only in the most serviceable way possible. The outline of an action RPG is there, and traces of MMORPGs alongside it, but none of it is any fun. Combat is incredibly basic, while questing is a chore since I had no investment in this paper-thin world or the characters around me.

It’s also badly in need of a tutorial, since your first hours with the game are also the worst, as you wander around the woods being killed by everything you come across, get little in return, then have no idea what to do with the stuff you do get.

On the bright side, you can be a frog, and you can pet cats.

About the only thing I did enjoy about my time with Cube World was exploring. It’s a very pretty world, if you’re into the blocky voxel art style thing, and its undulating terrain and enormous caves were nice just to zone out and stroll across.

It’s a shame that Cube World’s launch has ended up like this, with fans dismayed (the game’s Reddit and Steam reviews are not being kind) at the amount of stuff removed or changed from what had already been such a fun experience.

For a game to spend so long in the dark and then finally get released could have been one of the feel-good stories of the year! Instead we’ve got a game that is somehow worse than its alpha, missing loads of what were originally its best features, and what’s left just isn’t very good.


Comments

    I grabbed my code and tried to play the beta only to find the game doesn't run in Windows 7.
    There's a workaround but I couldn't be bothered at the time.

    Hmm...guess I have a Steam code waiting for me somewhere then? Pretty sure when I paid for it 6 years ago it wasn't through Steam.

    Although sounds like it isn't a big loss if I don't have a code.

      Log in to the Picroma website with the details from when you first bought it, and you'll find a Steam key there waiting for you.

      You just have to sign in to your Picorama account and grab your code from the "My Games" tab.

    I was happy this was coming back after 6 years, the early builds were amazing.

    Real disappointed with how it ended up.

    so what your saying is that it need to add a battle royal mode and go free2play right? because this sounds exactly like what happened with fortnight when it was finally released to the public to play

      Sounds more like they're saying people should play Dragon Quest Builders 2, instead.

        Yeah Dragon quest builders or portal knights

          especially with the Humble Builder Bundle still going for the rest of the week (with Portal Knights at the $5 mid tier, and Staxel at the US$10 top tier)

    As someone who missed the alpha, the new progression system sounds so much more interesting than the original one. There's no way I'd be getting too excited about a blocky exp driven rpg, but switching it more to a rogue lite-issue exploration game where every region gives you the chance to start from scratch, but collect your power ups in a different order actually sounds right up my alley.

    I'm curious what the target audience/age for the game is? Is it aimed at jaded adult gamers or is it aimed more at 10 year olds (for example)? Maybe it's a fun game for a kid to just roam around doing random stuff?

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