Hand’s-On Preview: Geon Cube (Nintendo Wii)

Hand’s On Preview: Geon Cube
Developer: Strawdog Studios
Publisher: UFO Interactive
Genre: Arcade Puzzler
Release Date: 10/20/2009

To say Geon Cube is an under the radar title, is a bit of an understatement. There’s nothing really out there about the game. EB Gamestop doesn’t list it even though it comes out in less than a month. Gamerankings and Gamefaqs are barren of information, and so the majority of gamers probably have no idea this even exists. Savvy gamers might recognize this title as Geon: Emotions, which was originally released on XBLA in September of 2007. It later made its way to the Playstation network a year later. Now UFO Interactive and Strawdog Studios are bringing a revamped version of the game under its new name to the Nintendo Wii.

Geon’s Cube basically says it all. You play as a cube trying to collect as many pellets as you can on a screen. It’s very Pac-Man-esque in this approach. Unlike Pac-Man though, there are no ghosts – only another cube on the other side of the screen. This is either controlled by another person or by the computer. As you and your opponent collect pellets, you will begin to power up. Once fully charged up with power, you’ll then need to score a “goal” by landing in your opponent’s score area. The first player to score five points wins. Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? Well, it’s not.

For starters, there are 32 different levels, each of which looks and plays different. This means strategy is just as important as speed. There are loops, spirals, bridges and other scenery issues you’ll have to deal with. You also have the ability to go over to reverse side of the screen to dodge attacks or lay traps. As such, you’ll always have to be well aware of what is on the board at all times.

You can also collect powerballs, which if we go back to the Pac-Man metaphor, are basically Power Pellets. Powerballs can give you one of eight powers based off emotions. These include:

“¢ Red-Rage. This gives your cube a spike based attack.
“¢ Green-Greed. This basically makes pellets come to you.
“¢ Pink -Passion. This allows your cube to slide across the screen.
“¢ Purple-Frustration. This lets you create traps to catch your opponent.
“¢ Orange – Hyper. This gives you super speed.
“¢ Black – Fear. This prevents your opponent from seeing you properly.
“¢ Blue – Collect. You get shadow duplicates that collect pellets for you in addition to your normal cube.
“¢ Yellow – Shock. This lets you lay a paralytic trap.

In addition to these attacks, each cube has a basic double jump attack, which sends your opponent flying and a Shield, which prevents damage. All of these combine to give you even more strategic aspects to take down your opponent.

With the Wii version, you can play Geon Cube with up to four of your friends. There are also 16 new grids for the Duel mode and of course, Wiimote specific controls. The Duel Mode was added due to complaints that the XBLA single-player mode was lacking depth and replay value, so with the Wii, there will be a “League” option within Duel mode. Unfortunately, as I was playing this on a Debug Unit, I couldn’t really test this aspect fully.

Besides Duel mode, there is also Career Mode, Time Attack, Last Man Standing, Team Geon, and several mini-games to experience. With a price point of only $19.99, there actually a lot here to muddle your way through. As Geon Cube ships on October 20th, you still have plenty of time to pick this up. Your best bet of finding it is on Amazon.com, so if you’re interested in a new puzzle-arcade combo for your Wii, Geon Cube is certainly worth considering.

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