Free Game for Platform Fans
Cosmic Cow LLC
Cubic Castles may look like just another Minecraft clone based off of the art style alone, but the game play manages to make it stand alone from the pack. However, the comparisons are fair. You can't swing a stick these days without hitting a game that's built off of the rudimentary artistic design of Minecraft, and Cubic Castles hews close enough to the formula that it could be mistaken for a spin-off. Comparisons aside, Cubic Castles is cute, even if the environments are sometimes a little barren and the textures stripped down to the point of looking primitive.
The fundamentals of Minecraft are clearly in place here. The core of the experience is about wandering through big open worlds, mining for materials, fighting monsters, and then returning home to use the things you've found to build out the environment of your dreams. But while the systems in place may be similar, Cubic Castles makes a few small but meaningful adjustments that make the game feel like its own thing. Numerous players occupy the same server, but each player gets their own plot of land to build however they see fit. That creates a feeling where the plot of land you occupy feels distinctly your own and you get to build it out as you wish. There's an added sense of identity you can't really find in a more traditional Minecraft rip-off. You also have the option to determine editing settings. While you can leave your plot of land off limits, you can also invite friends in and give them the privilege to alter the larger environment as they see fit.
The map is also distinctly more approachable. While Minecraft gives you a large and sometimes seemingly unending world, Cubic Castles does a better job of splitting off these environments into bite sized chunks. Each has their own theme filled with distinct threats and environments, and that can make these environments feel more like the traditional, characterized worlds of platforming video games. Navigation is equally as simplified. While you can walk from one end of the map to another, there's also an overworld map that you can access directly from your home. You can warp directly to each world to go exploring and harvesting for resources, or you can pop in to the homes of your friends and neighbors to see what they've been doing with their territory. All in all, this creates something of a more whimsical world environment where play takes stronger center stage. The survivalist elements of Minecraft have been largely stripped out, and players are strongly encouraged to create bright and colorful environments that reflect their personalities. While the options available now may be a little threadbare, the developers are regularly updating the game, and you can expect it to grow with the player base.