WINNER: IGF China award for BEST GAME!Cubetractor is a neo-retroesque action-strategy-puzzle hybrid where you defeat enemies through an unconventional cube-pulling, turret-buildling mechanic. The game carries elements of a reverse tower defence and a grounded bullet-hell dodger to deliver a unique gameplay experience presented in a...
User reviews:
Overall:
Mostly Positive (330 reviews) - 75% of the 330 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: May 29, 2013

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Reviews

"It quickly won be over" Rock Paper Shotgun
"like a puzzle driven Dark Souls" 8/10 Examiner
"engaging story and some tricky puzzles" Tignews

About This Game

WINNER: IGF China award for BEST GAME!

Cubetractor is a neo-retroesque action-strategy-puzzle hybrid where you defeat enemies through an unconventional cube-pulling, turret-buildling mechanic.


The game carries elements of a reverse tower defence and a grounded bullet-hell dodger to deliver a unique gameplay experience presented in a classic top-down perspective.


You play as Endroi, a menacingly happy-go-lucky quadrubot as he strives to master the art of Cubetracting -- the art of attracting Cubes. It's a deceptively straightforward skill that involves dexterity, acute awareness, multi-tasking and tactical positioning. You'll have to strategize, solve and fight your way through multitudes of enemy installations to achieve your coveted goal.

Features

  • 40+ maps for you to pull, crush and build: Levels carefully designed to bring out the emergent dynamics in a unique mechanic.
  • Symmetrical Balance: Why do bad guys always have to be stronger than you? In Cubetractor, the enemy structures are exactly the same as yours, other than they got there first. Defeating them is a matter of thoughtful timing and positioning.
  • Purely indie-made: Done by 2 people, living off their savings, working off random coffee joints.
  • Hardcore Awards for Hardcore Players: The main levels are designed for speedruns. Collect all the batteries, reach the finishing goal within impressively tight time limits -- do all that without a scratch -- to earn the most coveted of accolades. Don't worry, there are also options for those of us that are more human.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
    Minimum:
    • Processor:2.0GHz processor
    Recommended:
    • Processor:2.66GHz processor
    Minimum:
    • Processor:2.0GHz processor
    Recommended:
    • Processor:2.66GHz processor
Customer reviews
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Overall:
Mostly Positive (330 reviews)
Recently Posted
Dankus
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 28
It's pretty fun i say.
Disagree, you might...
But, Cubetractor is pretty much a retro-ish game with happy music and the gameplay is about pulling cubes together to create towers that shoot cubes, barries and all kinds of fun stuff.
The game gets harder as more enemies pop up during your adventure.
There is side levels aswell, that are more like challenge levels.
Keep in mind, i have not completed the game fully, so i cannot say what is there in the end etc.
But overall, it's a fun experience i enjoy playing.
''It's a good timewaster'' in short.
8.5 outta 10
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Obstacle
5.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 28
Product received for free
it's great game and quite hard too. You need to consider where you build your things to maximize your your power.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Hacha Dorada
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 26
Fun packed little game based on the classic Sokoban, with a twist of action and humour. Nice music and cute graphics.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
super_mario_world
4.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 20
A really really good game. It has the charm as if playing on a gameboy. The controll, music, soundeffects - everything is fine and fit together. It is not the game with the longest game time - but the time you spent on it is pure quality. I like it ;-)
One of my favourite indie games.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Sacriefice
5.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 8
Product received for free
starts as a nice little game that has quite a lot of levels but it repeats itself to often.
The easy game mechanics are later artificial complicated by unfair and frustrating level design.

OK as a free game but definetly not worth 10 bucks.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
JDM64 ^v^
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 1
GUNWO NIE POLECAM
Helpful? Yes No Funny
vb42 #WeDontSprayAnymore
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 27
awsome game >.<
Helpful? Yes No Funny
nujumkey
9.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 23
This is a surprisingly lively action puzzle combination that is easily one of my favorite indie game i've ever played. Only two hours long, and i spent the entire game highly entertained. WARNING: this game has a lot more puzzle than action. I see a lot of the reviews and it seems people who don't enjoy puzzle solving won't enjoy this game

The core of the game revolves around combining cubes. Different cube combinations can build towers that either attack enemies or support your attacking towers. You can also pull cubes through enemies to deal sizable damage, which is surprisingly effective when possible. Without cubes your player character has no offensive power to deal with enemies, which means you deal with the enemies almost entirely through building structures that fight for you.

I was surprised how smoothly the game played. Usually genre mixers tend to rely heavily on the first genre and include small elements from the second, but cubetractor makes an effort to blend the two and I personally found that it gave the player a lot of choice in how they can approach. You can start every level guns blazing combining as many cubes as possible and brute forcing the answer but if you slow down you can find more efficient ways to complete a level. Most levels past the first three have 2-3 ways you can complete them and often sitting at the spawn point to plan out the level can be really enjoyable. One level i remember essentially having three different puzzles inside it, but you had to complete one puzzle in order to access the blocks to solve a second puzzle. Once you solve the second puzzle, you have to tear down buildings you had used for the first section to create a tower yet to be used in the level to hit some distant hard to reach enemies to unlock the exit.

The complicated levels and variety of strategies make for a more interactive world and you don't feel like you're solving puzzles as much as you are solving problems that happen to be in the way of you and your goal. I didn't get the sense i get with most puzzle games that rather than solving puzzles because i enjoyed solving puzzles I was solving the puzzles just to finish the game. Instead Cubetractor's level design was a lot of fun.

I only have two real complaints. Firstly, I did often found myself rushing to get the action going only to completely miss a cube in the corner that would make the level significantly easier. This happenned about three times before i noticed how often the developer seemed to put important cubes in corners, as if the devs were trying to teach the player to focus on their sourroundings. It's not really the developers fault that i wasn't paying attention, but it was very frusterating to fail a level multiple times only to notice how easy the solution was. Secondly the main story is somewhat confusing. You can choose to do the extra levels to get more of the story content, but even if you don't the game treats the story as if you had done all the side missions and learned all the characters quirks. Also don't bother trying to invest in the story. The characters can be cute in that Sesame Street sort of way where each character has a personality quirk or a gimmick, but pay too much attention and you notice how flat the writing is.

Overall a very positive experience. If you're a fan of puzzle games you will definately enjoy Cubetractor
Helpful? Yes No Funny
☀️⁺˚Light-sama⁺˚☀
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: May 22
Product received for free
^^ really cute neo retro aesthetic that is painfully decietful - the bright colour pallet perhaps gave me the wrong idea of the difficulty of the game but it turned out to be a fun but at times infuriating game

mix of the dodging element of damaku games and tower defense - it's a pleasant mix of avoiding enemy fire and as well as dodging things you've propelled using your traction beam in addition to strategy elements of placing towers - the confined space of the levels at times makes in infuriating but all the while more rewarding to beat

neo retro I guess only applies to the aesthetic - controller support is so and so using a DS4 emulating a XB360 controller - dead spots in the analogue sticks makes it rather difficult in a twitchy reflex dependant game and the D pad doesn't support sustained presses - though using a keyboard and mouse is ideal

the only other thing is that the protagonists sprite design - I guess the front of the face reminds of a wide clown smile and it creeps me out ever so slightly

overall charming game with interesting puzzle mechanic
Helpful? Yes No Funny
SuperSandro2000
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: May 22
Product received for free
Good puzzle game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
42 of 56 people (75%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Recommended
4.2 hrs on record
Posted: January 18
Cubetractor is an action strategy puzzle game where, you guessed it, you have a lot of interactions with cubes. The game was released in May 2013 and a lot of people will probably have this game already due to it featuring quite often in bundles over the past couple of years.

The game play looks very simple from the screenshots on the store, but there is actually quite a bit of depth to this little title. You are in control of a little robot who can move cubes around the map using his tractor beam, these cubes can either be used to out right destroy enemies, combined to create turrets or barriers and even be used to cause harm to yourself if you aren’t careful. The blocks will continue to move in the direction you pulled them until they come into contact with something, so you have to be really tacticful with how you interact with them sometimes. If they don’t hit anything, they will tend to respawn after a few seconds in their original spot. The game play is really pusating and enjoyable, some very fast paced action can be seen throughout your play though of this game.

The art style is really pleasantly presented. The 8bit theme is pulled off very well, along with some really nicely done animations and lovely sound effects. There isn’t any spoken dialogue, simply because it isn’t needed.

Cubetractor surprisingly has a very interesting story line. The robot you play as is trying to escape to freedom, you do this over the course of completing your exams for robot school? I would strongly recommend people read the dialogue between the main characters in the game as there are some great lines to be seen. Silly enough, the robots who built you failed to think about putting some sort of self-destruct feature in your build, so they are forced to sit back and hope you fail your exams and destroy yourself.

The game is difficult to say the least, once you complete the tutorial you are pretty much thrown in at the deep end. I might add that the tutorial is done very well and explains the mechanics of the game to a level which allows you to keep up with the early levels but also doesn’t hold your hand throughout. Once you get past the first 10 or 15 levels, a lot of the game play is luck based and how quick you are on your feet with the amount of bullets flying around your screen from enemy turrets and mobs.

I have been playing the game for about three hours now and have just finished the game. There is a side of me that thinks I will want to jump into the game at some point to maybe work on a few achievements given how easy the game play is to just pick up and play as well.

I would personally say Cubetractor is a neat little indie title that could quite easily find a place in most people’s library. I would definitely say it is worth the £6,99 price tag, but you can quite easily pick this up on sale for much lower on other sites.

Tom's Score Card
1) Stay away
2) Not Recommended
3) Only recommended when on sale
4) Recommended
5) Highly recommended
6) This is a must play

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21 of 24 people (88%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
2.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 21, 2014
If you can settle with gold/silver/bronze, this game is fun and easy.

If you're a perfectionist, like me, and NEED master.... It's harder than Impossible Game, Dark Souls, Quake, and Superhexagon combined. ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ me the ♥♥♥♥ off the entire time I'm playing it.

11/10 surprisingly fun for what it looks like.
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14 of 17 people (82%) found this review helpful
Recommended
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 10, 2014
This is a great game.
I love the pixelated art and the simple gameplay.
You play as a robot and your job is to pull cubes.
As the game progress you can combine cubes to make a cannon, wall, power plant, etc...

This game is quite hard too. You need to consider where you build your things to maximize your your power.
To get perfect score (4 stars) you have to finish the level flawlessly (collect all the batteries, finish below the time limit and taken no damage at all).
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16 of 21 people (76%) found this review helpful
Recommended
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: May 20, 2014
If you're willing to dig into mechanics that'll make you count distance and learn the timing on when to fling what where, this is a fun game where you're dodging and combining objects to make protection/offense against the environment to solve puzzles and survive. It's also exceedingly cutesy.

If you're not, though, you'll probably get tired of this a few stages in like I did. Doesn't make it a bad game, just makes it not my cup of tea.

Other cool facts: game has a ranking system which is pretty good and also doesn't expect you to get ALL THE STARS every time - the highest rank can be earned from minute one of the game, but clearly is designed for a replay once you've gotten good at it (they require obscenely tight timing + offing all enemies and collecting their batteries + never taking a hit). So that's cool.
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12 of 15 people (80%) found this review helpful
Recommended
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 28, 2014
No this is not a tower defense game.
This is an action puzzle game with a bullet-hell twist based on getting quick times, collecting all the pickups, and not getting hit.
There aren't many levels overall 12 main levels with some sidequests[HLTB says 4 hours for campaign], and there are tutorial levels mixed in.
The graphics and soundfx fit very well together and emulate a 16 bit title well. I honestly wasn't paying attention to the music, the gameplay is hectic and it took most of efforts to dodge bullets.
I've had a lot of fun playing and I'll go back to finish the campaign. Getting 4/4stars on each level seems incredibly hard and I only managed to perfect the first level so far. I decided to write this because the helpful reviews filter was just awful for this game.
I think anyone who enjoys top down action, action/strategy or dodgy-shooter type games will like this game.
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9 of 11 people (82%) found this review helpful
Recommended
6.8 hrs on record
Posted: March 13
Cubetractor is like a game of tug of war where the opposing team is throwing rocks at you. Except the rocks are lasers and nobody actually remembered to bring a rope.

Though it borrows some tower defense staples, Cubetractor is primarily a puzzle game about pulling blocks around and making them bump into one another. The trick however isn’t so much in the actual pulling of blocks but in the timing and placement of them, each combination of two blocks producing a tower which is then used to destroy the pesky enemy towers that have been shooting you the whole time.

It sounds easy on paper, but Cubetractor is exceedingly good at taking its minimalistic design and turning it against you in ways that at times wager on the downright sadistic. More often than not though this only makes solving a level that much more satisfying, and because Cubetractor was built with symmetry of capability in mind it rarely feels as if you’re outmatched by your opponent. They just got there first (and probably cheated).

I also found it hard not to enjoy my time with Cubetractor because the game itself is so enthusiastic. Sure, your little blue robot might be enacting a destructive rampage disguised as a particularly explosive form of self-education, but they’re so doggone happy about it who has the heart to stop them? There is an absurdist charm to Cubetractor that is often hard to pin down, but it’s pervasive joy had me continuing to come back for more even as I was cursing the seeming impossibility of a given level.

The only time Cubetractor falls apart is when its puzzles begin to turn into a monotonous war of attrition, requiring you to brute force your way through enemies rather than defeat them strategically. This mostly happens in the later levels of the game, but it’s a sharp and dramatic decline in the overall quality of level designs that is even more unfortunate given how the game up to that point seemed so conscious of avoiding tedium.

Troublesome (and it should be said, optional) levels aside however, Cubetractor is a delight to unravel. It cleverly combines elements of more genres than are worth mentioning into a game that feels surprisingly fresh for all its recognizable parts. I was left feeling just slightly unsatisfied with the abruptness of the ending, but if it’s any indication of things to come, this isn’t the last we’ll see of the little robot that could [blow stuff up] and that’s not a bad thing by any means.

You can read more of my writing on Kritiqal.
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10 of 13 people (77%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
1.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 22, 2015
Cute and clever little strategy game
Cubetractor is a strange and unique game where you play as Endroi, a robotic drone who seems to take strange delight in completing puzzles and frustrating the plans of his creators in a comically overblown fashion. Practically, the game is quite simple. You move your robot around the board and use the space bar to attract blocks toward your position. Once in motion, the blocks continue until they strike something causing damage, merge with another moving block to form a tower, or leave the screen. Cubes can be pulled only once (they will regenerate after a few seconds) and only in straight lines. The game is all about creating towers and striking enemies with moving cubes as you progress down the path toward freedom. The greatest advantage of this game is the story, you should read the entire contents during the game. On the other hand. the retro graphics of Cubetractor and the accompanying music start to bore very easily, although when it comes to music then you can always turn your own one. Worth buying during sales.
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8 of 10 people (80%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: January 17, 2015
it's great, the best game I got from the recent humble strategy bundle, although this is less of a strategy game and more of an action puzzler.
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10 of 15 people (67%) found this review helpful
Recommended
6.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 6, 2014
This game is essentially the reverse of a tower defense game, and it will provide you with roughly 6 or 7 hours of gameplay.
If it's in a humble bundle, you must buy it! -8/10
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: February 15
A cube pulling puzzle game with hints of tower defense. I dig the retro graphics and the chiptunes, but the game is genuinely enjoyable and the tutorials and level design are well-crafted. Definitely worth it as a distraction from your 'main' game.

Pros:
- Simple to understand
- Fun
- Challanging but not impossible
- Great art style
- A bunch of levels

Cons:
- Not too many really. Would be cool to have a level editor, but its not a deal breaker.
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