Wow, just wow. Let’s get started.
I – Story [10/10]
Qbeh-1: The Atlas Cube is a first-person puzzle platformer from Liquid Flower. There is no real story in this game, nothing. Somehow though, you feel compelled to keep going, as if you just know there’s something greater going on behind the scenes. It’s a difficult thing to explain to someone who hasn’t experienced it first hand. The atmosphere is just amazing. I’ve never seen a game do something like this with so little. You really have to play it to understand what I’m saying.
II – UI [10/10]
The user interface is incredibly simple. Menus are bare-bones and well done. The HUD is very minimal to allow for a more complete sense of immersion. By way of HUD, you have a small dot reticle and some fading tabs that show you how many of each type of cube you currently have. Most of the time, you won’t even notice that it’s there.
III – Gameplay [9/10]
Playing Q1:TAC is an amazingly relaxing experience. Going into it, I had no idea what to expect beyond I was going to be solving puzzles. It’s so much more than that though in it’s entirety. The gameplay itself is as basic as can be. You can move around, move around slower, you can look at things, you can jump, and you can collect and place cubes in certain areas of the world. That’s all there is to it.
The puzzles are brilliant. There was a never a puzzle that I encountered that seemed impossibly hard. Some required more though and experimentation than others, but I was never overly frustrated by something. The only real problem that I had with Q1:TAC was the sparsely placed (and sometimes not very helpful) checkpoint locations. It didn’t detract from the game in the least, but it made things a bit tedious at times if mistakes were made.
IV – Content [9/10]
Rarely have I ever played a game with such a small amount of content that felt so very full. There are five types of cubes you can pick up and use in total and that’s it. (There are some secrets that you can find by exploring the levels, but you can’t do anything with those after you find them.) I would have liked to have seen a few more types of cubes, but it’s no big deal.
V – Visual [10/10]
Qbeh-1: The Atlas Cube is a beautiful game. Merely rushing through it, trying to complete it as fast as possible is a disservice to yourself. Take the time to wander and enjoy all the beauty that the world of Q1:TAC has to offer. The environment is absolutely stunning (especially when it is coupled with the superb soundtrack).
VI – Audio [10/10]
If you ever play a game that has a soundtrack that syncs up with it more perfectly than Qbeh-1: The Atlas Cube I demand that you notify me immediately. The music was, without a doubt, the best part of the entire game. You may have come here to solve puzzles and not to feel, but I will be damned if you make it out of this game without getting on the feels train at least once. Bravo to Launchable Socks to one of the best soundtracks I’ve ever heard (or felt) in a game.
VII – Overall [9.7/10]
Overall, Qbeh-1: The Atlas Cube is more of a blissful, reflective experience than a game, and it is sheer brilliance. If you’re a fan of Portal, you’ll be into this. On sale or not, this one is worth every penny.