Cubemen 2 is a real time strategy tower defence game made by Nnooo. It’s seen a release on many other platforms, including PC, Android, and iOS, and now it’s made its way to the Wii U. I review this particular version of the game and let loose the blocks of war.
Cubemen 2 is a Minecraft-esque game that blends the ideals of user creativity with real time strategy and bits and bobs of tower defence games. To put it simply, you have a base from which you can instantly create an army of cubemen of varying weapons and ability, provided you have enough cubes for each cube man. Extra cubes come from defeating enemy cubemen (I assume the grisly scenario of your guys claiming the maimed and mangled bodies of the enemy soldiers and refining them for parts). Individual cubemen can be upgraded or sold, but your objective is purely dependant on the map you’re playing. These objectives can range from simply defending your base, to capturing the flag, to destroying the enemy, to destroying the Brotherhood of NOD. Ok, maybe not that last one, but you get the idea. Anyone familiar with RTS games will immediately recognize the game mode objectives.
The game is controlled entirely via the Wii U GamePad, and this is where one of the game’s greatest drawbacks comes into play. Because it’s entirely touch based, there’s little point to playing on the TV, even though a larger screen makes it easier to see the action. Still, you can zoom and rotate using the stylus, and because of the small point of the stylus, it’s easy to give orders to your little army. It’s also essential that you rotate the play field if you want to give precise orders, since the game can…erm…”Creatively interpret” where on the map you meant to place your little cube soldier.
When you fire Cubemen 2 up for the first time, it’s apparent that it’s meant to be a multiplayer game, and the majority of the options and modes are pointed that way. When you start a multiplayer game (online only, sadly), you can either host or join a game, and from there choose a map and objectives. Multiplayer is fairly simple, and on the Nintendo Network, lag was minimal. My particular RTS skills are terrible, so I found myself losing more cubemen then you’d lose by bombing a Rubik’s factory.
At its heart, Cubemen 2 is as much a game of strategy and tower defence as it is a game of creativity, and there are literally thousands of user-generated maps from all Cubemen 2 platforms. If none of them meet your exacting demands, you can also create your own, and once again, this is performed entirely on the touch screen. You choose a theme (of which there are more than I’d expected), select a placement for the blocks, and off you go. It’s as simple as that, and some of the best fun can be hand just by crafting a field.
Overall, it’s a fun game, and if you have a number of friends on the Nintendo Network with the game, you’re in for a blast. Even if you don’t, it’s a good way to make some friends (or make some enemies if that’s more to your liking). There are a lot of things to do, and you can easily find yourself fiddling for hours tweaking a level you’ve created, or finding the perfect combination of soldiers to defeat a particular opponent. It has that vital “once more!” feel to it, which is one of the best things you could have in a game. At the price, it’s a superb amount of fun. Just pity there’s no local multiplayer with Wii Remote and Nunchuck, because that would have definitely raised the score a number of points, but as it is, it’s still excellent fun.
Final Score: 7 cubed prawns out of 10
Platform: Wii U
Release Date: 4 September 2014
RRP: R96 (Wii U eShop)
Age Rating: 7+