Developer: Tomasz Dziobek (TomiGames), Teyon
Genre: Twin-Stick, Arena Battler
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: PEGI 12
Release Date: 10/07/2020
A code was provided for review purposes.
I Hate Being The Bearer of Bad News
Cubers: Arena is a strange game indeed. I had not heard anything about it before the review code was thrust into my lap. I could have guessed by the fact it had the word Arena in the title, that it was an Arena based game; little did I know what I was letting myself in for.
At its heart, Cubers: Arena is a twin-stick battler that I tried to love. I really, really tried, I honestly did. The issue I have with it is, it feels like a Miniclip game from the early 2000s. It has little to keep you invested, has very little new to offer and there are not many game mechanics to get stuck into or learn. It’s all rather drab.
It’s Clobbering Time!
During each arena-based jaunt, you have to survive three waves of enemies. These enemies must be clobbered into submission using melee weapons, skills and the odd pointy environmental hazard. It all, unfortunately, feels very basic, overly familiar and not very interesting. Colour me disappointed.
There are a few persistent things that carry over between battles. Various currencies can be earned and spent in the hub of the game. The tribal camp, of sorts, has multiple vendors where you can spend your hard-earned spoils to buy new weapons, upgrades and even buy new skills. It’s all well and good but I found most of it quite irrelevant and not overly exciting.
At this point, after several battles, I was forcing myself to play the game. There are just much better examples of twin-stick games, with better presentation, better progression and a higher level of enjoyment out there. I am not one for slating games but this is something I found very hard to get into and even harder to carry on playing.
Repetitive, Not Rewarding
My main issue was that each arena battle played out roughly the same, there was very little skill involved and very little craft required to win. There was very little for me to discover and I was just running in circles vanquishing baddies and collecting health power-ups. I like games that teach me something, games that evolve, and unfortunately, this is not one of them.
You plod around small arenas, bashing the attack button, waiting for your skills to recharge and it’s simply not pleasant. It’s not very interesting and I don’t see where it would fit into anyone collection of games. Your time is just much better spent playing something else. I do not say this likely, I am a glass-half-full kind of guy but I am afraid at this point, someone has run off with my glass.
It’s Not Much Better With Friends
Apart from the campaign, the game has local co-op and a few versus modes to get stuck into. There’s dodgeball, sparring, wrestling and whack-a-mole to name a few but unfortunately, not even the multiplayer modes can save this game. I played a few with my boys and even they found it hard to stay focused or interested long enough to care. There are just much better experiences on the market.
Graphically, as I said, the game reminds me heavily of a Miniclip game from years gone by. It’s basic, flat and there is definitely nothing to write home about when it comes to the game’s presentation. The character models are bland, the menus very generic and it’s all rather dull. It’s simple, quite visually poor in places and I find it very hard to get excited about any of the game’s visuals at all.
Sound-wise, it’s pretty much the same really. Nothing is memorable, nothing is interesting and it all feels underwhelming. The music and sound effects are OK but it’s nothing I would write home about. The presentation overall, both graphically and in the sound department, feels like a free title available on many internet sites or free on a phone app store.
Save Your Hard-Earned Cash
There are not a lot of positives to take from Cubers: Arena really, I find it very hard to recommend it to anyone as it has little to offer. It is very repetitive, has a very little amount of progression and the gameplay is not very rewarding. You are doing the same thing over and over and very little changes. I suppose it you love twin-stick battles, you may get something out of this title but I did not and it performed OK. Apart from that, I recommend spending your hard-earned cash elsewhere.
Rapid Reviews Rating
If you fancy purchasing Cubers: Arena, you can get it on the Nintendo eShop here.