Mobile Monday: Suzy Cube
There have been a plethora of 3D character platformer games, and most of them seem to try to capture some of the magic of the early N64 and Playstation era. Super Mario 64, in particular, holds a special place in many hearts as a prime example of the genre. Suzy Cube hopes to bring that magic, tight control and lovable characters to mobile devices. Despite some of the restrictions of the platform, I think this game does a pretty good job landing the feeling of much more well known and polished games.
The tightness of the controls is the most important aspect of a 3D platformer. Players already must fight issues with depth perception and landing precision jumps under pressured situations. Fighting controls shouldn’t be something a player has to contend with as well. Suzy Cube uses an invisible floating joystick on the left side of the screen to handle movement and tapping on the right side of the screen jumps your character. The use of hidden controls keeps the UI clean and uncluttered, but I have still found myself fighting the joystick on areas that are particularly platform-heavy or require a lot of precision all at once.
The game’s environments look fairly diverse, using a very block-centric design to match the aesthetic of the titular Suzy Cube. All enemies are made of large chunky cubes, which helps to keep the visual style the same throughout but also makes most enemies carbon copies of others, and with limited animation, they also tend to feel a little flat and lacking the character of basic enemies in most other platformers. This is my main complaint about Suzy Cube.
The controls hold up well enough throughout. The environments look unique to each other and offer a good variety of challenge. Overall, however, the game feels a little flat. All of the trappings are here to make this a solid clone of New Super Mario Bros. U on a mobile platform, but it lacks the heart and polish of its inspiration. The bosses I’ve run into are all large block snakes with varied attacks, the enemies all feel like the same blocks with different colors. The levels also feel fairly lifeless, and because of the shorter draw distance, they feel like they are a series of platforms instead of an area in a larger world.
Aside from the needed polish Suzy Cube has a good amount of content, solid challenge levels, and was created by a team that clearly loved character platforming games. The character movement, platforming precision, and ease of judging depth in the game are solid. I like the use of very retro sound effects that bring back a bit of the nostalgia factor. If you want a solid character platforming experience on mobile I would recommend picking this one up, and I would love to see what they do with this game next.