- Expansive strategic take on normal tower defence
- Retro soundtrack
- Plenty of fun with multiplayer play
- Limitless built-in level editor
- Not as graphically clean as first Cubemen
- Longer play periods can feel repetitive
If you want a decent tower defence game, then this is for you. As with the first game, Cubemen 2 pits your band of merry cubed folk against other cuboid henchmen to defend their team’s tower. It’s one of those Indie games that you can pick up and play at any time, what’s cool is that your little Cubemen have more than just harsh language to defend themselves with.
With nine different unit types, each Cubeman carries a unique weapon with a certain unit cost attached. Grill is your average shooter with a pistol, Flint has a fiery flamethrower, while Ricky is armed with a rocket launcher. To strategise your gameplay, you can direct the path your enemies must take. With the help of Wally who can block paths, you can create choke points with a couple of mortars on either side. Each level is not a flat plain however, and raised platforms are great for Sid the sniper. All your characters can be upgraded at the cost of Cubes that are acquired from kills.
Beyond the normal tower defence mode, there’s also Rescue. In this, you must help your fellow Cubemen citizens escape to your portal. 3 Sprockets also provided some additional multiplayer and co-op games; there’s Skirmish, Capture The Flag and Territory. The latter mode is much more interesting, the winner is the team that can paint the entire level in their team colours by having their Cubemen walk on the tiles. If an opposing team walks on your colour, it is repainted in theirs and vice versa. A constant game of cat and mouse, having your Cubed brethren guard certain sections will stop the opposing team from obtaining territorial advantage. On the same token, you are limited to how many troops you can create, so smart placement is essential. I am particularly fond of this game mode, albeit it can become a frustrating tie until the timer runs out but still, it is a different take on defensive and attacking strategy.
It has a very retro feel to it, even the music reminds me of some of the midi soundtracks from the early 90s. It does have a certain charm to it, but perhaps the graphics can be a little cleaner and less jagged eyesores while maintaining that sense of going back in time. I do however like the pixelated flame trails from Flint and the level design is much more complex than the first game. The built in level editor inspires would be designers to create their own sandbox masterpiece to play in; the use of higher elevations, bridges and more give you options beyond the straight out defend A from attacker B.
I grew to like this game almost instantly, mainly because of its simplicity but also there are more strategic elements than meets the eye. Especially with multiple enemy towers from different approaches, the challenge to change how you play is always there. As a single player game, it is certainly a good pick up and play distraction but there’s more fun to be had if you play with others. The levels and the Cubemen themselves can be skinned to look like Clowns in a Minecraft backdrop as an example, or perhaps zombies are more to your liking. Each game mode places you in a ranking system, with statistics on how many cubes you earned and so on.
Cubemen 2 is a cute and compact game, one that won’t sink lots of your time but won’t destroy your wallet either. At a RRP of £5.99 on Steam, it’s a game of all out war for your little square friends and yet provides enough strategic problems to get some of that grey matter working. Also all your Cubemen can be dressed as ninjas, and we all like ninjas.