Puzzle Cubicle (80 MSP) has a title with an uncanny knack of putting people to sleep. You’ve got ‘Puzzle’, that immediately turns off more than three quarters of the gaming population with the promise of too much prefrontal cortex, then adds ‘Cubicle’, which sucks the fun out of everything not Office Space-related and wipes out another 24% This leaves a solitary percentage point that can be fractured into a further two groups; one half, which didn’t understand the title to begin with, and the other .5 that loves to spend their free hours smartypants-deep in anything resembling a jumbled jigsaw puzzle.
This .5% is Geek Mode Games’ target audience, and sadly I can’t count myself among them (too much thinking and I start to smell burnt hair). Straight-up puzzlers are not my genre, at all, and that’s what you get in Puzzle Cubicle, void of any flourish. Given a clue (sometimes more, sometimes less) as to a puzzle image’s design and layout, you’re then asked to build it via walls and open-ended cubicle shapes. No, really, that’s all there is.
Games like this don’t appeal to me, but I can soldier through them if they’re fast-paced or visually-arresting. Unfortunately, all the pixel characters and cars walking / driving along the border can’t disguise the blandness of shifting colored shapes around. Forunately, the music is good (and available on Bandcamp) and the puzzles, when the idea is not completely boring you into an uneasy, dreamless sleep, provide some serious head-scratchers in the Medium and Hard categories.
It plays well enough for a puzzler, but there are a few minor complaints, such as the lack of a credible tutorial. You are told the basics, and you see the intention quickly (close off each puzzle, match piece colors and location according to the clue, etc.) but it could have afforded a better explanation. It’s also an odd choice and somewhat of a hassle that you don’t automatically move on to the next puzzle after completion, instead having to re-select difficulty and cycle to the puzzle you want.
Neither gripe breaks the game, though they do tend to stand out when Puzzle Cubicle doesn’t have much else going for it. Again, if you’re part of that .5% that lit up after watching the trailer, you don’t need me to sell you on its worth. For the rest of us, though, there’s just nothing to get excited about here.