Cubemen 2 on the surface looks unassuming and even rough around the edges. Like a great book, it is subject to being judged by the cover perhaps all too harshly.
Pull back the veil though and you will find a great wealth of content that is as enjoyable as it is ambitious. As a tower defence-cum-real time strategy title, expect to engage in furiously hectic matches and rage induced controller hurls. There’s not much of a narrative to the game: you’re basically some kind of god in charge of summoning little men and forcing them to kill each other as each side of the board protect their precious base.
There are many types of Cubemen at your disposal. Some carry flamethrowers, others act as snipers or even land mines and impassable walls. In some of the campaign’s early levels these can seem overkill at times but as the stages get more complex and the enemy waves attack from all directions, you find yourself making split-second decisions to form sophisticated strategies using the different types of units.
This is important because Cubemen 2 comes with a level editor. Here’s where the game really shines. Not only can you create, share and battle on stages online with other players, you can also create stages with different versions of the game and share those too. That means if you have Cubemen 2 on iOS or Steam, you can share your levels with Wii U players. Cubemen 2 takes its place in gaming history as being the first Nintendo game to offer such cross-platform connectivity.
The level editor itself is sublime to use on Wii U. You’ll be able to create levels large and small with various skins that range from crates to medieval flavours. There’s already a huge amount of creative stages made by players on Wii U, add to that the 7,000 strong already made by players on other platforms and there’s plenty of free content at your fingertips from the moment you download the game.
There’s no lack of variety either with no less than seven gameplay modes, some for single players only and others for online multiplayer. Capture the Flag is a personal favourite but most modes have the frantic charm down to a tee.
The game has some drawbacks when it comes to presentation. While the developers have taken care to bring the game to Wii U and use its GamePay intuitively, controlling the camera during matches takes some getting used to. As does the interface itself. You’re charged with constantly using the stylus which isn’t a horrible thing, though it can get confusing to newbies when first starting out. Thankfully there’s a pretty decent tutorial mode which I recommend you checking out if you’re having trouble getting into the game.
Cubemen 2‘s graphics are unapologetically blocky to the point where they’re clean and fluid. The cube format works in the game’s favour as the action remains fast paced and lag free even in online multiplayer modes. Units also have their own swatch of skins ranging from lumberjacks to clowns and even zombies.
Cubemen 2 is a tower defence game that really comes into its own thanks to user customisation which really couldn’t be a reality without strong mechanics. What developers 3Sprockets have managed to do here is carve out their own mark on the genre.
Cubemen 2 is a Wii U title many will be talking about for years to come.