Indie Game Spotlight: Cube World

Another week has gone by, and that means it’s time for MONG’s Monday Indie Spotlight. This week we talk about a game called Cube World, created by Picroma. Picroma is a super small studio in Germany run by a man named Wollay, and his wife Sarah. Cube World is a voxel-based sandbox adventure-RPG that has been in open alpha since July 2013 that lets you choose from 8 playable races and 4 playable classes. It contains all the usual aspects of a sandbox MMO style, including gathering materials, crafting, PvP, dungeon crawling, and server based multiplayer.

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In addition to the typical crafting and leveling you would see in an adventure RPG, Cube World has a very unique addition to the crafting system, completely Customizable weapons. You see, all weapons are made up of cubes. Gathering materials such as wood, or mineral deposits allows you to then refine these materials into cubes in town. You can then add these cubes to your weapons to change the shape, size, damage, and general look of your weapon. The amount of cubes able to be added to the weapon depends on its level, so you have to wait until the higher levels to really get some serious customizing going. There are even special cubes that can add elemental effects such as ice or fire damage to your weapon’s attacks. Customizable armor is in the works for a future update, guaranteeing the ability to have a completely unique look to your character.

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Cube World also allows the allocation of skill points gained from leveling to increase the effectiveness of your offensive skills, as well as your adventuring skills. Adventuring skills such as Hang Gliding and Sailing can be increased to augment the speed at which you travel. The Pet Master and Riding skills increase the effectiveness of your pet and the speed at which you travel riding them.

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Another interesting feature in Cube World is the ability to tame and train pets. Pretty much every animal in the game can be tamed, and each animal has a specific item you need to find or buy in order to tame them. Once tamed, the pet will aid you in battle as well as offer you the ability to ride them enabling faster travel. Once a pet is tamed, you can keep them indefinitely, swapping out certain pets for certain situations. Pets have all kinds of abilities ranging from ranged damage to healing your character.

Cube World uses unique numbers or “seeds” much like Minecraft to keep track of procedurally generated worlds. In each world, there are 6 different biome types, with more in development. While there is no linear quest system, symbols on the map will reveal locations of dungeons and castles, which always have monsters, loot, and a final boss in them. Wollay has stated that a revamp of the current questing system is also in the works.

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Cube World is currently available for PC only, though a MAC port as well as console versions are being worked on. You can still purchase alpha access from the website at https://picroma.com/cubeworld for $20 USD, as Wollay has stated the price will increase when the game reaches beta, and again when it reaches release.

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My Opinion

I picked up Cube World last year when the open alpha first dropped and I absolutely love it. After a recent HD re-install, I realized my characters were all wiped, so I began to play again. The fact that you can essentially design your own weapons is a really cool feature, though truthfully I wish they would give you more than the maximum 32 blocks to work with. The armor customization will be an awesome addition as well, so you can make your character look bad ass. The gameplay itself is extremely addicting as it is all about killing and getting better loot and weapons. The randomly generated worlds keep the game fresh, although the game does lack any real end-game content at the moment.

Adding to the draw to me is the game’s very unique visual style. It seems to blend the visual styles of Minecraft and The Legend of Zelda, resulting in a very cool looking world. The only negative thing I really have to say about the game is the lack of updates. Wollay, the creator of Cube World seems to go into hiding and not send out updates for long periods of time, which leads me to worry about the future of the game. He has explained a few times publicly that this game is a pet project of his and his wife’s, and they work on it when they can while working other full-time jobs. I just hope that they generate enough income from selling alpha access to work on it full-time, as this game has huge potential.

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