People have been releasing Tower Defense games for about a decade now; most of them end up being the same thing just recycled with a few different graphics. So when a game comes along and tries to do something different most of the time it worth some kind of note, sadly for Cubemen this doesn’t really seem to fall into the “most of the time category”.
The good thing that Cubemen does differently than other games in the genre is build unique 3D worlds to scatter units around for better positioning. When the rest of these types of games play like a gloried table top board game, it is refreshing to see one that finally seems to have decided to treat things like a video game. Even though this is the first time that I have seen a Tower Defense game move into the third dimension it still doesn’t seem to be enough for it to become that vastly different than any other browser based game out there.
Although the art design of the game seems to sense that it was the first to do something like this and came up with an odd and interesting retro look to plaster on everything. The levels and characters are all reduced to what appears to be solid polygon blocks, almost invoking a sense that the game itself is just going to be a stepping stone on the way to something better and more interesting.
Almost everything else about the game ends up weighing down the individuality of the experience, from the way that every unit that can be thrown out feels entirely disposable and only being different from one another by how well it can slow down enemy units, to the way that some levels feel like they have drag on for four times the length that they should. I am sure that at one point this game looked great on paper, but along the way it simply lost its way.
The asking price itself isn’t that steep—at five dollars—if one really is a diehard fan of the genre as it will probably be something that can win some random debate 10 years from now about how video games slowly evolve. The problem is that besides probably being a really interesting, and hopefully argument winning, footnote in game history there isn’t really that much more to see here. For those still curious enough to want to buy it the publisher does seem rather keen to discounts during Steam sales, pick it up then.