We featured QB Planets for iOS in one of our latest Press Releases articles. The second I saw the adorable cinematic trailer I knew I wanted to check out what seemed to be a good premium puzzle game for iOS.
Space… the final frontier? Or so I thought!
British developer Madowl Games proved me wrong with QB Planets, a casual, relaxed premium puzzle game that scratches a couple itches: space themed games and Rubik’s cubes.
QB Planets brings a new twist (see what I did there?) to puzzle space adventure games by using a 3x3x3 cube levels, with 3 stars scattered across the 6 faces. To get a better view of the cuboid planet, its features and the stars, each face can be rotated horizontally or vertically, allowing you to collect the stars you’ll need to finish each level.
Sneakily, the first couple levels lull you into a sense of security and make you think: “Heh, this is pretty easy. I got this. No problem!”. Well, let’s just say the soon-to-be-discovered (optional) challenges really make QB Planets shine. You’ve got three things to take into account: the basic “collect all stars”, the somewhat easy timed runs and, last but definitely not least, completing the level with as few twists as possible.
So the game is a simple Rubik’s Cube puzzle?
It’s not all twisting and grabbing stars. Each new planet brings more challenges that are certain to make seasoned puzzlers stop and take a minute to consider their options. Accompanying the (sometimes) annoying obstacles, you’ll have to carefully plan your journey traversing frozen lakes, mysterious ancient portals and even volcanoes that are ready to erupt at any time just to make things more interesting (and deadly!).
Madowl managed to create a graphically pleasing aesthetic, whether you’re playing on a phone or tablet (the game is available across multiple platforms, from iOS and Android to the Nintendo Switch and even Windows!).
The attention to detail doesn’t stop at the cuboid planets. To reward you for completing the optional (but extremely fun) challenges, you can unlock 4 new space suits and 4 new styles for your ship. This is definitely a nice touch to provide extra incentives to do your very best.
The streamlined experience is extremely intuitive and the game guides you through the basics of twisting and turning, making sure that even the most novice of players will have a great time completing the puzzles.
AR(e) we there yet?
One premium feature that left me pleasantly surprised was the inclusion of an AR mode which manages to get you off of the couch and walking around the cube planets to get a better idea on what your moves are going to be. Does it make you look slightly silly? Maybe. Does it bring an extra layer of fun to the game? Definitely! We would like to see AR implemented in more games, since it has been proven to be more than just a gimmick (not to mention that it allows for some pretty creative screenshot opportunities!).
With over 100 puzzle planets to explore and over 290 puzzle medals to collect, QB Planets is definitely a premium title that is worth picking up on your favorite device.
What’s even nicer is that developer Madowl has announced that they will be adding even more content to QB Planets, which is always great news. As to what the new content is going to be, I am hoping that we’ll get even more planets and maybe some new collectibles (am I the only one hoping for some Star Wars-esque ships?).
Verdict – is QB Planets a Good Premium Puzzle Game?
We think that it is! It’s tiny and cute and focuses on a few simple mechanics that it executes extremely well! This is a good example of what premium gaming for mobile devices should be: Fun and well executed! While AR doesn’t bring any changes to the base formula it becomes a cute party trick and a, albeit small, differentiating feature to make it stand out.