Review: Cube World

I love this game. I loves it! I started playing Cube World around May 2013, and much like Patricia Hernandez at Kotaku, I can’t stop playing it.

Well actually, I can only play at my Special Someone’s place, but he really has to tear me away sometimes. And I think about it when I’m not playing. I look stuff up on its wiki page and make plans.

Tree-top hopping with my pet alpaca
Tree-top hopping with my pet alpaca

I know there are the inevitable comparisons to Minecraft. My humble opinion: I tried my hand at Minecraft a few years ago and I didn’t get into it because of the dark color palette and textures. I also had problems with the controls (my fault) and I was very impatient with the building mechanics. Cube World is bright (not too bright) and expansive and fast, with no muddled textures. In one word, it is charming. (There’s no building, though.)

So. I’m writing this for people who have not yet picked it up or are just starting. Anyone else – well, you don’t need to read this, you know how fun it is!

Some things you can do in Cube World:

  • explore six different landscapes
  • fight monsters
  • run dungeons and kill bosses
  • tame animals to be pets and ride some of them
  • sail in a boat
  • hang-glide
  • mine metals and jewels
  • harvest plants
  • cook food
  • spin thread, weave cloth, and make armor

The first thing you do is create a character. You have a choice among Elves, Humans, Goblins, Lizardmen, Dwarves, Orcs, Frogmen, and Undeads. I chose to make a Frog Lady, whom I named Violet because I gave her violet eyes. Although I haven’t made a human or elf, I believe they have different skin color options.

Violet sporting heavy armor and a two-handed axe
Violet sporting heavy armor, amulet, and a two-handed axe

Then you choose a class – Warrior, Ranger, Rogue, or Mage. I chose a warrior because I like hitting mobs of monsters with big weapons.

After that, you create a world by giving it a seed number, which the program uses to randomly generate the environment for you.

Three climate zones meet
Three climate zones meet

Once you spawn for the first time, and you can go explore your world! Now, I won’t lie – the beginning levels were difficult for me. The monsters/opponents were very difficult to beat and, at least in my world, there weren’t enough of them in one spot to level quickly. That changed when I found a forest full of undead, zombies, and vampires. Then my progression sped up!

Fighting in Cube World is super fun. You can actively dodge attacks and jump, which makes the combat really engaging. Having to use your left hand for movement also involves you more. It’s not just click-click-click all the time, is what I’m saying.

You have a fairly limited skill tree (just 3 special attacks), but this prevents you from experiencing the kind of “skill overload” that other games suffer from. You also only have two choices for specialization. Although I enjoyed building my skill trees in Diablo III and Torchlight II, I like being able to focus on other things.

Besides the combat, my favorite part of Cube World is exploring! Some people don’t like open world games, but I really do. Exploring (and harvesting) was my favorite aspect of World of Warcraft, until I got trapped in the dreary Marshlands. But you aren’t trapped in environments in Cube World – the monsters are pretty much the same range of levels everywhere, so if you don’t like one place, you can go find another.

Again, the more-or-less directionless nature of Cube World isn’t for everyone, but I like it. There’s enough to do that I can set my own goals. Last week I had a dungeon that I wanted to run, while this week my goal was to make a map of all the climate zones I had visited so far and to travel back to my first spawn location. Two long-term hopes I have are to see a wooly mammoth in the snowlands and to discover the lava lands.


My favorite moments so far:

  • flying through a cloud!
  • discovering a pink tree shedding its leaves
  • seeing an Egyptian-style pyramid
  • riding in my boat the first time
  • taming a brown alpaca!
  • realizing I could dive to the ocean floor

I love climbing, too. Climbing to the highest mountain, gazing at the gorgeous vista, and then hang-gliding off the peak is fricking sweet.

I'm on a boat!
I’m on a boat!

Also, sailing in my boat is fun. When I first found an ocean, I had no idea that you could swim to the bottom and fight piranhas, sharks, blowfish, and lantern fish. It’s amazing.
Good thing you can breathe underwater!
Good thing you can breathe underwater!

So obviously I love Cube World and I can’t wait for all the planned elements to be added to the game. My most anticipated addition? To acquire a biscuit roll so I can tame a bumble bee!!
I want this bee SO BAD
I want this bee SO BAD

Below are more pictures (I apologize for the quality of the images – I had to take pictures of the screen with my camera, lol!) of various environments and things.
Pyramid - this is a dungeon filled with falcon- and jackal-headed enemies
Pyramid – this is a dungeon filled with falcon- and jackal-headed enemies

Desert ruins
Desert ruins

My penguin pet and I underwater
Violet and penguin pet underwater

The cutest rendition of a campfire I've seen in a game
The cutest rendition of a campfire I’ve seen in a game

Finding a suitable peak from which to hang-glide into cloud
Finding a suitable peak from which to hang-glide into cloud

Almost there
Almost there

Inside the cloud!
Inside the cloud!


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