by William Thompson
reviewed on PC
Back to square one
The original Cubemen was a fun game to play. Yes, it was another tower defence game, but the cubemen with their distinctively cube shaped bodies and the square tiled maps gave the game a rather cool retro feel. Developer 3Sprockets havenít been idle though and have made some huge improvements in their follow up title Cubemen 2.
As was the case with the original Cubemen, the basic gameplay revolves around recruiting various cubemen units in a tower defence style and placing them in such a way that gains you victory. But unlike other tower defence games, the units can be picked up and placed in any location on the game board, sort of like a simple real-time strategy game, albeit with smaller numbers.
A mode for everyone
Cubemen 2 has increased the number of game modes from the original game and there are now five modes from which to choose. This variation in modes allows Ė and requires Ė different techniques and strategies in order to win the level. The tower defence remains as the standard mode, with the enemy AI sending waves of attackers towards your base. It is up to you to deploy your cubemen so that the oncoming hordes do not reach your base.
Apart from the standard tower defence, there is a Rescue mode that requires you to place your units in such a way so that you can guide your little civilians from one side of the map to your home base on the other. Attackers will not only attack your units in this mode, but the civilians as well. Your aim is to get as many civilians home as possible in the allotted time frame.
Getting into multiplayer
Defence and Rescue are both single player modes only, but there are another three modes that can be played in both single player and multiplayer. The Skirmish mode plays out like a two-way Tower Defence, requiring you to get your units to the enemy base whilst defending your own base from the attacking hordes.
Capture the Flag, as you would expect, gives you the task of capturing five flags from the enemies home base whilst simultaneously preventing the enemy from doing the same. In this mode, a special unit will be summoned to collect the flag. Like Rescue mode, he must be protected as well as your base. Itís no use simply protecting your home flag if your flag bearer cannot reach home safely.
Territory is probably my favourite mode to play, especially against more than one opponent (Human or AI). Territory requires you to traverse the game map, with every square that your units cover, becoming your territory. But if an enemy then travels over that square, it becomes theirs. Whoever has the greatest percentage of territory at the end of the allotted time is declared the winner. This mode is particularly frantic with the full complement of six players, as each of the players is trying to steal land from each other.
The currency used in the game is known as Cubes. Each level has you starting with a limited amount of these Cubes to begin your army. There are various units you can select from, each having a different monetary value and attacking/defending value. As the game progresses, gamers score cubes by disposing of enemy attackers.
New units and skins, and heaps of new game modes and maps
The single player campaign can be a little tedious at times, but it serves as a pseudo-tutorial.