Xenocube SD

XenoCube SD ($.99) by Digital Embryo
Available on iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad

Xenocube SD is another “match three” game wrapped up in a pretty package of vibrant graphics and a well-designed, albeit slightly flawed user interface. Xenocube SD essentially presents itself as a 3D puzzler involving a large, rotating, six-sided Rubik’s Cube. The player is then given the task of matching three alike colors either vertically or horizontally on any of the cube’s six planes. The xenocube levitates allowing the user to simply swipe at the cube to send it spinning allowing access to all six sides. This is where one of the few problems I had with the game surfaced. My wife always tells me to be more gentle frequently citing that old song “I want a man with a slow hand…” I guess my lack of finesse is not limited to the bedroom because I frequently found myself spinning the Xenocube on what seemed like a perpetual death spin causing me to lose precious time in my quest to find matches. Another problem I had with the game was the inconceivable use of 3D. I am unaware of any iPhone, iPad, or iPod that utilizes a stereoscopic 3D display, so I was a little baffled by what the 3D intensity slider actually did. After playing around with the 3D effect and finding it more cumbersome than beneficial, I simply turned it off and what followed was a rather enjoyable experience.

I had a love-hate relationship with the Rubik’s Cube growing up. My friend next-door was like an idiot savant at those damn things, but like our administrator Michael, the only way for me to solve one was by peeling off the colored stickers and then re-arranging them. Thus, I went into this review fairly skeptical of Xenocube SD. I am more of a Tetris guy when it comes to puzzlers, so I didn’t think Xenocube SD would be my cup of tea. It turns out that I was pleasantly surprised.

Once you get past the few quirks involving the gameplay mechanics, including the spin sensitivity and the pointless 3D gimmick, what you have is a very well-designed, beautifully displayed puzzler that has plenty of game modes to keep you occupied. Xenocube SD includes 32 levels in any of the game’s 5 modes including a Augmented Reality mode. In order to play in AR mode you will need to go to the developer’s website and print out a special card.

Xenocube SD includes the following game features:

•3D Matching
•Tilt Controlled 3D FX
•Augmented Reality
•5 Unique game modes
•Up to 32 levels per mode
•2 Unique art styles to choose from
•8 Full 3D backgrounds
•8 2D backgrounds
•8 Unique power ups and explosion FX
•Gamecenter, leaderboards and achievements
•Facebook high score postings with screenshots

I must warn you that Xenocube SD is a memory intensive app, so you really need a 4th generation device in order to play it. If you have the right hardware available and have a buck to spare, I would easily recommend this game. It is a fun, relaxing, and well-designed game that offers plenty of bang for the buck. Hopefully some of you were able to snag this game last week when it was available for free. If not, don’t fret as I promise you that you will get your dollars worth!

Fun Definitely a fun puzzler worthy of helping you kill some time
Sound & Graphics Fantastic! Vibrant graphics presented effortlessly on a retina display coupled with top notch sound.
Controls Could use some tweeking and the only thing holding Xenocube SD back from a 5 out of 5 score
Replay Value Does Xenocube SD have replay value? Is the pope Catholic?
Overall I’d buy that for a dollar!
App Name: XenoCube SD (iTunes)
Version: 1.0
Price as of this writing: $.99. A free version of this app is not available at this time.
iTunes category: Games
Available on: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Developer: Digital Embryo
Device & iOS used for review: iPod 4, iOS 5.0

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