One of the great things about smartphone gaming is that it encourages developers to be creative and efficient, coming up with games that are easy to pick up and play, innovative enough to be worth playing, and small enough to download over 4G.
Djinnworks is a master at creating this sort of game, and Cuby Cars is its latest piece of ingeniously simple, fiendlishly addictive casual gaming perfection.
The goal is simply to get from the top of the screen to the bottom as fast as you can, on a wraparound road that vanishes off the right of the screen and reappears a little way down on the left over and over again.
Holding a finger down on the screen lets you accelerate, but there’s a problem. Littering the stages are little yellow blocks, some static, some moving in straight lines or circles. If you happen to be accelerating when you pass across one of these yellow blocks, you explode in a shower of cuboid car parts.
It’s not just a matter of lifting your finger off at the moment you reach a dot, either. Your car needs to have returned to its idle speed, or you’re toast.
This is a more inventive concept than it sounds. Whereas in most games like this your input is about movement, pulling off jumps, dodging obstacles, and the like, in Cuby Cars you act by not acting.
The most exciting moments in the game are when you’re frantically watching your car as it creeps past a yellow block at two miles an hour.
There are 50 levels in total, and with each one you conquer you’ll earn credits, which you can spend on upgrading one of your cars or buying a new one. Each of the game’s six cars has its own upgradeable acceleration, speed, and brakes.
We know what you’re thinking: how hard can it be to slow down for obstacles?
Very hard, is the answer. Cuby Cars is a simple concept and a stiff challenge. If you don’t believe us, download it for free right now via Google Play (and the App Store!) and see how you fare on the leaderboards.