3D puzzle games are horribly tricky to get right due to the fact that most are played on 2D screens. Most of the cues we take for granted in the real world have been cruelly snatched away by technology’s slow march. I blame religion, really.
Enter Qbism HD, a game that makes that problem an important part of the game. In fact, Normal Mode has about as much perspective as a super telephoto zoom lens. A puzzle is made of this lack of perspective by presenting you with an outline and a bunch of coloured cubes with which to fill it. This really is just an outline and doesn’t give the game away too much. While completing levels is easy enough to be inevitable, it does at least require some thought on higher difficulties, especially on Super Hard Mode, where all perspective and depth-shading is removed and your guide outline is almost invisible.
Each of the four difficulty levels is a grid of 35 puzzles, with the difficulty being the size of the resulting shape, from 3x3x3 being Easy, to 6x6x6 being Ridiculous. This last is a kind of psychological warfare though, since the puzzles are never unmanageable so long as your left-brain is in good operating order.
That’s probably thanks to the controls: Whether moving those cubes with your finger, or rotating the camera by stroking the spaces between, it’s all intuitive enough that you’ll never really think about it.
Over and above the basic challenge of completion, each level has a goal time for both the Normal and Super Hard modes. Add to that the leaderboard support via Game Center and there’s plenty of self-improvement or competing with friends on offer. Given that these leaderboards aren’t just for completion times, but moves or spins too, there’s certainly enough fodder for leaderboard-lust.
Being a plus app, buying it means gets you both the iPad and iPhone/iPod touch versions, so you won’t be stuck for ways to play. However, it does make you wish Apple would add cloud saves to Game Center though, so plus apps could be even more like Steam Play.
The bottom line for Qbism HD though, is that it’s quite fun and a reasonably well-rounded package, but there’s just not enough going on here for it to stay on your iOS-device-of-choice for long.