Cube Quest: Clash for the Crown
Cube Quest promises fast-paced fun that is easy to learn. Are you ready to mobilize your fingers to defeat your opponent’s king and defend your own?
Cube Quest is a two-player dexterity game from GameWright that combines strategy and skill. It’s very easy to learn, but since gameplay is different every time, it’s very challenging to master.
Setup consists of laying out two neoprene terrain mats, each representing a player’s home territory. Each player chooses an army of cubes and sets them up on the player’s home territory. The King cube must be placed touching the castle marked on the board. The rest of the cubes can be placed anywhere within home territory, in any formation: lined up, spread out, or stacked into towers.
On a player’s turn, she picks one of her cubes to move, using a finger and thumb to flick the cube in the desired direction. The goal is to knock the other player’s cubes completely off the terrain mats. Any cube knocked off the two boards is defeated, even if the player flicks her own cube off! If a cube ends up in enemy territory blank side up, it will be “captured”. The player re-rolls the captured cube (off the board), and if it lands with a face showing, it can be returned to the castle in home territory; otherwise, it is defeated and removed from the board. Players alternate turns, flicking only one cube each time, until one player’s King has been defeated.
Winning couldn’t be simpler: defeat your opponent’s King by knocking it off the board.
A basic Cube Quest army consists of the King, 12 Grunts (easy to capture), and 4 Strikers (hard to capture). Advanced rules assign a cost to each type of cube to allow a player to make a custom mix, adding cubes with special abilities. This is similar to more complicated games like Warhammer, but streamlined for a casual audience. For example, Healers cannot attack, but may be sacrificed to re-roll 2-3 previously defeated cubes. Freezes can be placed on opponent’s cubes to stop them from being flicked. Helms can be flicked twice on a turn, and Skulks may go into hiding if they finish a turn in enemy territory. The special abilities add an extra layer of variability to this already unpredictable game.
Cube Quest is very easy to learn; the rules of movement are intuitive, and the strategy (protect your King and defeat your opponent’s King) is straightforward. We had a lot of fun playing this as a family, although we had to stop the toddler from running off with the cubes that went flying off the table.
A few minor material issues affected our gameplay. Sadly, the terrain mats do not lay flat. To fit in the box, they are folded in fourths, and we could not get the creases out. This added a little extra variability to the terrain, making it very difficult to line up shots around a hump or divot in the mat.
Overall, we quite liked this game. The rules are simple enough for a non-reader to understand, especially if you stick with the basic army without any special cubes. Play moves quickly, and a full game should last less than 15 minutes.
Buy Cube Quest from your friendly local game store or find it online here.