This is a screenshot of the video game Cube & Star: An Arbitrary Love, featuring a pink cube in the center surrounded by grass. In the distance are buildings. The sky is pink and red due to a sunset.

Cube & Star: An Arbitrary Love Review

Genre | Art, Puzzle, Adventure, Exploration
Developer | Doppler Interactive
Platforms | PC, Linux, OSX
Website | http://www.cube-and-star.com/

Cube & Star: An Arbitrary Love is a game where the player controls a cube that rolls around a world. The player can bump into trees, creatures, and other objects to trigger various interactions. The player can collect items dropped by trees to turn their cube a certain color, which then allows them to spread this color by moving around. Later the player is able to alter the world by generating buildings and other objects. The player can meet the eponymous cube and and the eponymous star.

Cube & Star: An Arbitrary Love contains one hundred collectible coins, seventy five collectible gems, two hundred sixteen collectible items, fifty collectible journal entries, twenty five collectible coded fragments of history, ninety three achievements, four collectible glyphs that grant the player possible actions, fifteen moods corresponding to colors of the world, a cipher,  a day night cycle, and an infinite number of collectible stars.

The world in Cube & Star: An Arbitrary Love begins as gray. As the player and other creatures spread color, the world changes color. The various collectible items are buried, and are revealed when color is brought to the square the are buried under. The player can talk to some creatures in the game, like other cubes. Creatures say things like “Admire the grass. It submits to our bounding, and rises again,” “The earth hurts me. Do I hurt the earth in turn? Unresolved guilt is the worst,” “There is a sick delight in flattening grass. Because it’s resilient. It’s an innocent destruction,” and “Grass is the world’s way of binding us to our decisions.”

The graphics in Cube & Star: An Arbitrary Love are in an abstract style. They depict the spherical world, blue cubes that rain in showers, sunrises and sunset, trees in various shapes and colors, and other things. The sounds in Cube & Star: An Arbitrary Love include the rumbling noise of trees falling when they are bumped into enough times, spoken dialog for some of the characters, a buzzing noise, a clicking noise, and a noise the player’s cube makes as it moves. The music in Cube & Star: An Arbitrary Love features a piano and jingling sounds.

As the player acquires glyphs in Cube & Star: An Arbitrary Love they are able to bring color to larger portions of the world in a shorter period of time than they can by rolling around. They are also able to generate objects like buildings, mushrooms, and Tiny Things. The Tiny Things cannot be spoken to and the player can crush them. Sometimes when the player attempts to move onto a square containing Tiny Things, the player’s cube spins around two or three times and does not move onto the Tiny Things unless the player continues to attempt to move onto the Tiny Things. Other times the player’s cube moves immediately onto, and crushes, the Tiny Things. The player can collect twenty five chronicles of the history of the Tiny Things. The chronicles are ciphered and the player can solve the cipher to read the history.

This is a score for an objective game review. The score is an 8 out of 10.