Developer: TeemSoft, Inc
Price: $2.99 Download on the App Store
After playing TeemSoft's CubicMan Deluxe for a while, I have a new appreciation for those guys who built Stonehenge.
The aim of CubicMan Deluxe is to roll a rectangular-shaped, six-sided, block around a platform of tiles until you're able to stand it upright on its destination. Like the builders at Stonehenge probably figured out, it's one of those things you have to think through before you start willy nilly tossing around stone blocks that weigh several tons apiece. It looks simple but it's not.
I've seen a number of variations of this kind of game. For example, AppCraver recently looked at the popular Mobigame's Edge.
CubicMan Deluxe has two play modes: Arcade and Free Play. In the Arcade mode, you must complete puzzles of increasing complexity. There are some 100 unique puzzles, so you're going to be at it for quite some time and that's a good thing. In the Free Play mode, you can practice your moves on the puzzles you've already completed.
As the platforms become more varied and sophisticated, they pan from side to side because an entire puzzle will not fit on screen. The problem is that CubicMan Deluxe is laid out in portrait mode only and the lack of a landscape mode really detracts from game play. It's hard to fathom why the game designer would chose panning over landscape mode. You also have the option of zooming in and out.
The graphics in CubicMan Deluxe are terrific and it plays well as far as its mechanics go. It's responsive and I didn't come across any glitches. There's no soundtrack, which suits me just fine because I generally dislike the repetitive noise that emanates from your average app. The only sound effects you'll hear in CubicMan Deluxe are the sounds the block makes as you roll it and when it falls off the platform. Again, that's good enough for me.
I like CubicMan Deluxe — a lot — and I'm sure it will stay on my iPhone for quit a while. However, without a landscape mode, it won't make my list of faves.