What is it like to be a cube? This is a question that we surely have all asked ourselves once or twice. It is just human nature. Two Tribes (of Toki Tori fame) asked this question, and their answer ended up being a fun puzzle/platformer that reminds me of a very angular Marble Madness.
Your goal? The goal.
Here is basically what you will be doing in Edge: you will start at one point in a level that is suspended in space, and you will “roll” your multicolored cube body over various blocks and stair steps to the flashing goal at the end. You are graded on how fast this happens, and your scores can appear on leader boards so you know exactly how bad to feel for falling off the map twelve times in a round.
But of course it is not as easy as rolling a bit and being done with it. Each level increases in difficulty, and positioning your cube correctly among floating, sliding, pushing, falling, and disappearing blocks from the isometric viewpoint can get tough. Adding more challenge than simply a time trial, it is in your best interest to also find and grab all of the “prisms” in each level. These will not only help your rating at the end, but they allow your cube to roll faster the more you pick up. A particularly tough section of a level will almost always be easier if your cube is moving a bit faster. Usually the prisms are on your way to the goal, and you will most certainly pick up a few regardless. But generally there are a couple that are out of the way that force you to use some of your brainsmarts to get to.
At certain times, your cube will be transformed into a mini-cube 1/4 its original size. Your mini-cube can climb right up sheer wall faces (big cube can only climb one block at a time), and it makes the most adorable mini-cube sound when it rolls. I actually wish I was mini-cube more often, but whatever. WHATEVER.
When I first started playing Edge, the first few intro levels led me to believe that the game might be a walk in the park. “Oh, all I do is roll this cube?” I thought. “Child’s play!” And then I laughed heartily while blowing smoke rings into the air. Once you get a little further, however, the concept of hanging on ledges comes into play: when you are going up stair-stepped blocks, for example, there is a short period of time where your cube hangs on the block in front of it while it manages its way to the top. The period of time your cube hangs in the air is something that you can (and will) actually use to get through levels in certain areas. By hanging on moving blocks, your cube can be transported from platform to platform while you hold your breath. You see, there is no button that makes your cube hang on. You have to, instead, act as though you want your cube to climb to the top of a block but not push it that far. Basically, you are tapping your movement buttons to suspend your cube halfway between the ground and the top of a block, and going too far either way is bad news if you are clutching to the side of a moving block.
The longest I had to keep up the Edge Time during the 40 or so levels I played was 4-5 seconds, and that might not sound like a lot, but trust me, it’s not as easy as it sounds. An achievement exist for holding on for 30 seconds, though, so some people must be masters. In any case, this is a skill that you will have to use, and although I became comfortable with it in practice, when it was happening I always tensed up a bit. And I say that in a good way, because the game is more fun with a little stress.
Visually the game is relatively simple, but that’s all it needs to be. The game has a nice, modern look to it, and it runs great even on my six year old MacBook Pro. There are basically just about two color schemes to the levels (light and dark), and some people might find a way to pick at that somehow. Those people would be stupid, though, because the point is hot, cube action, and you get upwards of 100 levels with the game. By becoming a member of their Steam community, you can unlock even more levels as well.
Audibly, the game is pretty good. The soundtrack is full of upbeat tunes that are easy to nod your head to. They don’t really stick with you once you are outside of the game, but they are fine.
Should you cube it up?
Currently, Edge is $7.99 on Steam, and if you are looking for a nice platformer that is easy to play but with a nice challenge, then yes, you will like Edge. Close to 100 levels is quite a bit of content, and you certainly won’t be getting all of the prisms on your first try.
Give it a shot.