A gorgeous open world for RPG fans
This indie game has been around since 2017, and features a beautiful open world, character creation, and plenty of opportunities for fun and distraction. Though the visual style is similar, Cube World's combat-focused gameplay is what sets it apart from being just another Minecraft clone. Cube World draws elements from classic fantasy to create a host of unique gameplay experiences.
An engaging world with a few flaws
The game starts by jumping into a surprisingly charming character creator. There, you'll select a race from an extensive list of typical fantasy options ranging from Elf to Dwarf and even Frogmen. Though races don't do much aside from changing your character's appearance, selecting your class is where the real fun begins. Each of the game's four classes has two sub-categories that will let you tweak your combat style to your liking, and allow for more than a few unique combinations and possibilities. Players that prefer ranged combat can select a Ranger with a Sniper specialization. Those who prefer a stealthier approach can select a Rogue with a Ninja specialization, and so on. These customizable combinations will let you play the game exactly how you want.
Cube World's creators have cited retro classics such as The Legend of Zelda as major parts of Cube World's DNA, and that influence shows in gameplay. Though the game has a blocky visual style similar to Minecraft, that's where the similarities end. Cube World puts the focus squarely on combat and exploration, and the game delivers plenty of both. The game features several vast, procedurally generated game worlds with different biomes ranging from Grasslands to Desert. Since worlds are created using seed values, players can also share their favorite worlds on the internet, which can come in handy if you’re looking for worlds that contain good equipment and loot. Each of these unique worlds is packed full of features. Players are able to visit towns and cities to trade equipment in shops, tame wild animals as pets, and travel around in a variety of different vehicles. Though crafting elements are present, they take much more of a backseat here than in Minecraft. It's easy to spend hours getting lost in Cube World's seemingly endless opportunities for combat and exploration.
Despite the game's vast and lush worlds, it does tend to feel rather empty at times. The game's missions are bare-bones and encompass several variations on a handful of cookie-cutter style quests. You'll often find yourself repeating the same basic formula: head to a fortress, kill some bad guys, beat a boss, and repeat. That's pretty much all there is to it. Though these quests can be fun raids when accompanied by a few friends in the game’s multiplayer mode, playing them solo can feel repetitive. For a game world that holds so much promise, it feels like a letdown. Players who have the ability to make their own entertainment will find it in Cube World, but those who prefer a more guided game experience will find themselves frustrated at the lack of structure and repetitive experience.
Cube World's players will also have to learn to hold their breath if they're hoping for updates. The game has gained a fair bit of infamy for long periods of silence from the development team. It has been known to go for months and even years at a time without receiving updates. This is somewhat countered by Cube World's active and vibrant player community, but gamers who are hoping to feel like they're part of a living and changing game world may be disappointed.
Where can you run this program?
For now, Cube World can only run on a Windows PC or laptop. Though the game was originally designed for Windows XP, it can also run on Windows Vista, 7, and 8. The game’s specs are not demanding, and it can run smoothly on even the most bare-bones setup. Though the game's development team has announced plans to bring it to Mac OS X and eventually to consoles, no specific timeframe for these expansions has been set. Given the game's long periods of dormancy and general lack of updates, it may be a while before Cube World is available anywhere other than on Windows.
Is there a better alternative?
Cube World is certainly worth playing for gamers who enjoy a more bare-bones RPG experience. The open world is fun to explore, and the combat mechanics are well-executed. The multiplayer elements also offer plenty of opportunities for entertainment. For those that are looking for a more fleshed out and engaging RPG experience, games like World of Warcraft and The Legend of Zelda are classics that inspired much of Cube World's gameplay. They also provide a wider variety of missions and more structure to the gameplay, which means they don't feel as repetitive as Cube World does at times. Players that like the open-world exploration aspect but prefer a less combat-centric experience should check out titles like Minecraft or Roblox. Both feature procedurally-generated environments like those in Cube World; however, the focus is more on creation. Though combat elements are present, the gameplay style is generally more relaxed.
Despite appearances, Cube World is a fairly basic experience when it comes down to it. The core gameplay is entertaining, and the game world itself is the star, but the lack of any sort of plot or story means that the game can feel stale after a while.
Though Cube World is a beautiful and engaging indie title, it lacks gameplay components that prevent it from being as enduring and entertaining as other titles in the genre. With the general lack of updates, it seems likely that this core Cube World experience won't be changing anytime soon.
Should you download it?
If you're a casual gamer looking for a few hours of fun, Cube World is the game for you. You can enjoy exploring the game world, fighting enemies, and collecting loot and weapons.
- Active and helpful community
- Engaging world
- Strong character customization
- Infrequent updates
- Repetitive gameplay
- Lack of structure