In The Cube

This is a platform game that would be perfect for anyone who has never played a platform game before. It's really easy to pick up and understand, and the level progression has been designed to teach one new skill before requiring the next. The very first level, for instance, teaches you the keyboard controls for the delicate art of jumping from one column to the next. The whole game has been created from the same set of simple phong-shaded cubes and simple primary colored graphics. Your avatar is another cube, and the brief intro sequence hints at the entire game world itself being within another cube. That at least explains the title. The music keeps to the same template, faithfully maintaining the mid-1990s DOS game feeling with sounds that seem to come from a Sound Blaster connected to a cheap Roland General MIDI sound generator. But this is all probably because In The Cube is built using the developer's own game library rather than any other game engine, and the whole thing is small enough to run as WebAssembly in your favorite browser, although native Linux builds are also easy to create.

Despite the graphical simplicity, the game is hugely enjoyable because the level design is so good. It wanders through the usual platformer stereotypes of difficult jumps, falling blocks, insta-death hazards, lasers, mirrors, ropes, and platforms. The game knows this and uses it as a strength. It's like a best-of compilation of platformer challenges. Thanks to the auto-save mechanic and the fun and responsive controls that don't require any learning, you're happy to remind yourself of the simple fun of playing these types of games. Death in the game is a mild distraction when you just want to get to the next of its 30 levels to discover more about what the whole game is about.

Project Website

If you're looking to convince someone of the brilliance of platform games, In The Cube is a great place to start.

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