Cube Delivers on First-Person Shooter Gameplay

Cube is a solid effort at a first-person shooter for the iPhone. There is a high learning-curve in gaining mastery of the controls, which are a bit awkward. Maneuvering the game’s menus, maps, and other features also is counter-intuitive. But underneath some of the quirkiness lies a great game that, with patience, you may learn to enjoy.

A considerable online community has developed around Cube. This game has been available for quite a while online; so this newest version is a port of an existing one. Cube devotees will probably be more enthusiastic about the game’s App Store debut than others. Especially since it takes a while to get used to it. For example, the controls are briefly displayed on a how-to screen when starting the game. Then, it disappears. Working through the menu requires a variation of taps to portions of the screen.

Because the game runs on an open-source engine, it is highly customizable. There is an option inside Cube to type in commands. At the prompt, entering commands can change the geometry, textures, or other features of the game. Many have made customized maps for the online version.

The biggest learning curve comes from the controls. You hold down a space on the bottom right of the screen to move forward, then use the iPhone’s accelerometer to move around. It is awkward. To go forward means tilting the screen ahead slightly. Your iPhone or iPod Touch cannot be held upright, otherwise, the screen just spins around in a wild circle. But while the controls are not great, it is something you can get used to after playing around with Cube for a while.

The menu gives options for single or multiplayer, along with a large selection of maps. On some, it takes a while to find enemies. Yet on other maps I found myself wishing I had a machine gun. Fortunately, there are ways to find and add more guns and heal yourself with additional life or suit up with some body armor. It may not be Halo, but Cube, with patience, is a great app for first-person shooter action.

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