Cubic Space: because in space no one can hear your dice roll

Cubic Space Adam Atomic

Generally, humans are really bad at predicting the future. For every correct prediction you can point to there are hundreds of incorrect ones out there. In short, the future is a surprise. A surprise wrapped in naff predictions.

So, a future in which spaceships are controlled by dice rolls may not sound like something we’d design but there’s no reason to say that Adam Atomic hasn’t get it right. In 150 years time it may be that your FTL drive will only spool up if you roll a six.

Right or wrong you should play Cubic Space because it’s a great little challenge.

The most challenging thing about Cubic is getting a grasp on its rules. It will likely take you a few playthroughs to understand quite what’s going on but when you do you’re in for a treat.

Your goal is simple, get your ship through six sectors of enemy space. Each sector has eight enemy ships and eight pickups. You’ll only tackle four at a time but it will be a random assortment of those 16 entities.

Your ship is made up of four components: lasers, shields, something I’m going to call the recombobulator, and, finally, the Energy Transfer Device (ETD for short).

The lasers, shields, enemies, and pickups are all represented by six-sided dice. If your laser is a five, for instance, it will destroy any enemy of five health or lower. If the enemy was a six then your laser would leave it as a one, and you’d be out of laser.

What happens then is that you warp into a system and four entities are drawn from the bag. Destroy the enemies and use pickups to keep your shield and laser charged up enough to take them out. If you’re left without either then you’ll be blown to kingdom come if you try to attack.

Sometimes you will be presented with a spread of foes you can’t defeat. Your laser and shield haven’t enough charge to defeat the amassed health of your foes. That’s where the recombobulator comes in. It draws four new entity dice from the bag, replacing those before you.

The recombobulator itself is a dice and each use sees it drop in value by one. The only way to recharge it is with ETD. Activating it saps your shield and laser of three points and creates one new roll for your recombobulator.

I know this all sounds very complex, and it is, but the game itself is completely understandable once it clicks. Before it clicks it is baffling and difficult.

Go play it.

Cheers, PC Gamer.