Good, clean, cubed fun.
Amongst the flurry of game discs and demos that find their way onto my desk here at MEGamers, I occasionally get the chance to play through games from indie developers and smaller studios. My latest sit-down is with the game Edge from Two Tribes studios, which first made its appearance on iOS.
Edge is beautifully simple, and just ridiculously addictive (I’ve now gone and bought it for my iPad!). The game is simple – you guide a cube around a three-dimensional maze collecting colored prisms as you go. Your goal is to simply reach the colored exit in the shortest possible time to get a good rating, and if you collect all the prisms in a level you can even grab the coveted “S+” rating. As simple as the game’s mechanic sounds, the action starts to heat up in later levels with the paths becoming increasingly complex and dangerous. There are constant hazards to overcome, such as bumpers that will knock you off, speeding blocks that will hurl you off a platform, floating paths that rapidly disintegrate, and so on. The levels also feature a variety of switches, some which will bounce you off to another part of a level, or unlock an area that was preciously inaccessible. The ever-changing landscape of each level also poses various challenges, as timing is the key factor to keep in mind.
You may often roll off the path and into the murky space below, but the endless respawns don’t grate on your nerves, and instead teach you to be more careful where you roll your cube. The game also features something called ‘edging’, where you balance the cube off an edge to rack up time that is then deducted from your final time to improve your overall ranking. It looks ridiculously easy, but it is quite tricky to pull off with the keyboard.
Visually the game does really well, even if its grey design gets a bit uninteresting after a while. Everything is rendered crisply and effortlessly, and even larger levels can be scrolled through without any problems. The accompanying soundtrack is very electronica-heavy, but compliments the game by changing from mellow keyboard sounds to a full on synth chorus.
There is however one little issue that I found with the game, and that was purely in the control scheme. Trying to navigate a cube in 3D using the arrow keys was at times quite painful – I often mis-aligned a roll and tethered off the edge rather than landing safely below. When played with a gamepad’s analog stick, the control was much more precise, so only play the game with a keyboard if you have no other alternative. There were also certain levels where I couldn’t figure out what to do – although there are a few blocks marked with question marks which give you clues in certain areas, these blocks are few and far between, so in one level I was left rolling around trying to locate the exit for a good couple of minutes.
Control scheme aside, Edge is a really fun game to get into that just needs a few seconds to learn and master. The game offers a decent level of challenge as you progress, and the online leaderboards help determine where you stack against your fellow gamers. It’s a clean, fuss-free game that provides a curious amount of fun on your PC.