Survive! Mr. Cube Review - An Underwhelming Roguelike

Survive! Mr. Cube is a painfully easy roguelike with a phony sense of progression, a boring combat system, and a platinum trophy that never should’ve been approved.

The game starts players off with a teensy bit of exposition regarding Mr. Cube’s recently deceased wife before they’re immediately thrown into the world. After completing the tutorial in the starting area, players travel through a portal and begin their roguelike journey. Unfortunately, Survive! Mr. Cube doesn’t seem consistent with the genre.

The “Roguelike” Element

The greatest red flag when it comes to a game that’s advertised as a “roguelike” is if it can easily be beaten on the player’s first try. The main idea of this genre is that once the player dies, they get some new ability or advantage, and after restarting, they’re given a chance to try again. After launching the game for the first time, I managed to complete Survive! Mr. Cube on my first attempt within a few hours. The game is painfully easy, and I wasn’t even aware what happened after death until I had already experienced everything the game had to offer.

In Survive! Mr. Cube, the player can improve their abilities with stat bonuses that drop from large chests or bosses, weapons that come from special enemies or by dying over and over again. The natural stat bonuses are pretty simple: health regen, max mana, movement speed and so on. The weapons a player can get greatly change how the game plays, as going from a sword to a machine gun definitely feels different. These weapons are under certain categories, and each of these categories are absolutely superior versions of the weapon. For example, the player has no reason to keep their level one mace if they find a level three mace on a special enemies corpse.

Once the player dies in Survive! Mr. Cube, they come back to life as a new and much more powerful character. The game’s progression system is not only painfully linear, but it makes absolutely no sense in context of what a roguelike should be. No matter how the player dies, they will always get a better character when they come back to life. To test this, I immediately killed myself five times in a row with each new game. Unsurprisingly, the character I got at the end was someone with a level three weapon and four times the health of the starting character.

Combat System

Survive! Mr. Cube needed more satisfying battle mechanics. All the player can do to fight enemies is swing their weapon. There isn’t a dodge button, and there aren’t any special abilities. There’s absolutely no originality embedded within its painfully bland system. The only positive to note is the variety in enemy types.

Tutorial and Controls

Survive! Mr. Cube has a terrible tutorial chock-full of broken translations and unclear instructions. There aren’t many things the game’s tutorial actually taught me. This should be fine, as it’s a tactic many games use nowadays, but why even waste the player’s time with a tutorial if it doesn’t teach the player anything.

It’s even worse that the controls for the game feel so awkward. It feels like the game wasn’t meant to be played on a PlayStation 4. For example, all of the buttons are on the right side of the controller. X, square, circle, triangle, right stick, and options are the only usable buttons.

Not only that, if the player pauses the game, they can’t unpause by clicking the options button; they have to click X for some reason. Additionally, the game’s translations are laughable due to some hilarious mistakes.

"A MIDDLE SCHOOL BOY WITH A CROSS BAG
SHE IS NOT A CUBE ACTUALLY
JUST THAT SHE HAS A ANGULATED JAWS"

The beauty of Survive! Mr. Cube's translations.

Lazy Menu

Survive! Mr. Cube has an incredibly lazy pause menu that speaks for itself. In this pause menu, there are three options: a checkbox for vibrations and sliders for both background music and sound effects. There are many other choices that should be here, such as the ability to increase the HUD size, as it’s incredibly small. It also should have an option to remap controller buttons, especially considering the game’s controls cheme.

The Lazy Menu

Terrible Trophies

One of the most jarring aspects of Survive! Mr. Cube is how the platinum trophy takes no more than two hours to unlock. Within my first 10 minutes of playing, I earned half of the game’s trophies. Things that should not feel like accomplishments were thrown inside its trophy list.

There are trophies for earning 10 gold, 25 gold, and 50 gold. Earning 50 gold grants the player a gold trophy, yet 50 gold can be earned in a minute or two. There’s also a gold trophy for opening 10 skeleton chests, and these are so common that it shouldn’t take the player more than five minutes to find dozens of them.

There’s absolutely no reason anyone should’ve approved this platinum trophy. More than 50% of the people who’ve played Survive! Mr. Cube earned its platinum, and that practically never happens. This is especially embarrassing when The Walking Dead: Season Two’s platinum was denied, even though that game takes far more time and dedication to complete than Survive! Mr. Cube does.

Verdict

Survive! Mr. Cube is a dreadfully poor game, one that possesses way too many issues to be even slightly enjoyable. With a terrible sense of progression, annoying controls, and jarringly easy gameplay, Survive! Mr. Cube is a massive disappointment.

Score

Good Bad
Varied Enemies Shoddy Controls
Stat Bonuses Terrible Translations
Bland Combat
Broken Death System
Way Too Easy
Awful Trophies
Lazy Menu

- 3/10 -