Astranon's Cube & Star: An Arbitrary Love:
Gameplay (Is it fun?): 1/4
Visuals (Does it look good?): 1/4
Originality (Is it one of a kind?): 4/4
Playability (Is it free of errors and other issues?): 4/4Overall Rating: 63% out of 100%
Astranon's Review of Cube & Star: An Arbitrary Love:
Cube & Star: An Arbitrary Love is a strange game that combines both zen and puzzle elements. The player plays the role of a cube freely tumbling across a vast 3D landscape. The journey begins after a giant cube sitting in a meadow speaks to you in an annoyingly monotonous voice (apparently generated using text-to-speech technology). It advises you to lead a joyous life, not to harm anyone, and to leave the world a more colorful place than it was before you arrived. So, off the player goes to wander the world. Day turns to night. Rain sometimes falls. Other inhabitants appear, usually as primitive shapes that occasionally resemble insects.
A giant star with the same computer-generated voice as the giant cube sits alone in another meadow. It tells the player it has been there a long time and doesn't see any reason why it should move. The inhabitants themselves are less coherent. "An empty world is an ideal world," says one. "They grew large. Too large. It is grotesque," says another. It eventually becomes clear that the player is expected to paint the largely monochromatic world using colors obtained by bumping into trees. There are unusable items to collect with such baffling names as "Mysterious Testament to Dimensional Awareness" or "Regluar Salary Cheque," but there is no obvious reason why anyone should want to go through the trouble. The only productive items that can be obtained are four totems signifying emotions such as joy and passion. These grant the player the power to alter the landscape in new ways.
Cube & Star: An Arbitrary Love seems to rely heavily on piquing the player's curiosity to encourage him or her to continue playing. Journal entries can be gathered in the game, each of which contains a piece of an ongoing story. "Beneath the buzzing. Beneath the bounding. Beneath the jostling of trees...there are voices." reads one. "The voices are tiny. I listen carefully. My faces shudder." says the next. The game also makes use of a coded script, which the player is expected to decode at some point. Entries written in this script are gathered separately. The story that unfolds is so vague and nondescript that it fails to give the game any meaning. Without an interactive storyline or anything resembling conflict, the world quickly becomes mind-numbingly mundane.
Cube & Star: An Arbitrary Love would not be worth your time even if it were free. I do not recommend this game.
[Note: This review was written to help other gamers make an informed decision before purchasing. It is in no way intended as an attack on opposing viewpoints. You are welcome to agree or disagree with what I have written here. Either way, I hope you have enjoyed reading it. Thank you.]