Imagine, if you will, a world in which regular cubes were merged together to form a single piece of matter. Two cubes as one. A cube fusion, if you like.
Well reality just hit you in the face at 100mph. Your skeleton is smashed into pieces. That world is our world.
Cube Fusion is a game that the publisher calls ‘an exciting modular strategy game … unique in the history of games’.
Its makers are a confident bunch. In the booklet it declares that the game’s unique feature gives it outstanding superiority over 3 DIMENSIONAL TIC-TAC-TOE (or 3 in a row) games.
It even says there is unlimited scope in all game modes, before declaring that there are 1400 possible combinations in the first two moves and thus proving themselves wrong.
What’s more is that the manual even goes so far as to claim it’s among the very best modular strategy games of all time. A bold call indeed, but does it stand up to scrutiny?
Well, yeah it does actually.
The funniest thing about Best Play’s ‘A Funny Old Game’ series is that most old games are properly shit. There’s a certain joy to be had as we mockingly creak open the terrible packaging, read through the strange rules and start playing a very toilet game.
The problem with Cube Fusion is that it’s really quite good.
Its central premise is taking on the concept of naughts and crosses but adding in a third dimension. It’s 3D tic-tac-toe. The fusion twist is that every time you bosh down one of your blocks, it comes attached with one of theirs. So you place your red cube where you need it to be, but you also have to think about the protruding green cube and where that might end up.
Get three of your cubes in a row, in any direction or dimension, and you’re the victor. It’s simple, strategic and entertaining.
But that’s not very funny to write about now, is it?
So lets shift by mocking the box art a bit.
I can tell by some of the pixels and having seen quite a few shops in my time that this art was produced in the pre-Adobe era. The cubes down the bottom right of the cover have been painted on because black and white in them days couldn’t be done like that. In fact, the game doesn’t make any sense at all in black and white, which is why the stupid video we made is so obviously rubbish.
The box is unusually long, but barely weighs a thing. It was a surprise to see 12 bits of shitty plastic inside, and nothing else. It’s a real shame the pieces are so cheap, because you could quite easily make some nice glass cubes or something and the game would feel much better. You could also fit it in a tiny little travel box, but no, it insists on coming in a box the size of a dog’s coffin instead.
Normally Glenn and I don’t really care who wins the Funny Old Games we play, but for Cube Fusion it became competitive after a few games.
It’s almost a shame this obscure 1971 game has made such a pathetically small mark upon gaming history, but maybe some Kickstarter some day will bring it back to life with the quality pieces the game deserves.
Amazingly there are some second hand copies of this old version on Amazon UK right HERE and it’s pretty cheap…but then again it is old and second hand.
Cube Fusion is still a Funny Old Game, it just happens to be quite a good one too.