My Experience With Cube World

19 Jul 2013

The game Cube World was fantastic to see announced and it immediately demanded my attention. By first glance it was a voxel style game with proper action oriented combat, multiple classes, a gorgeous world to explore, and what appeared to be endless content. Could it be a game that finally realized the adventure/exploration mechanic of MineCraft?

Updates were slow and far apart but each time one came out it was as if the indie game crowd would explode. The anticipation would be ratcheted higher and the questions regarding its release would grow. Would it be Kickstarted? Or perhaps alpha released? Or was it close to done? The creator’s updates did little to calm the speculation.

But finally a few weeks ago, and with little warning, an alpha was released for sale.

And then the shop went down.

According to the creator, wollay, the shop was under attack by a denial-of-service operation: an attack that was designed to make it so that no one could buy the game. Why someone would do this, especially targetting a small indie shop, I simply can’t comprehend. However the result was that almost no one could buy the game for roughly the first week that it was available for purchase. I hate to imagine how many impulse sales wollay missed out on over that period.

Luckily I managed to snag a copy at 6am local time on my second attempt at getting it in the wee hours of the morning, a time at which the shop was slightly more likely to be available.

And I was blown away.

Instead of going back to bed I started playing and played for hours. It had a hint of that first time playing MineCraft. No one was there to tell me how to play and so began the learning. Skills, both those granted to my class and those learned from the mechanics of the world, had to be learned and adapted to. Early combat and leveling is hard in Cube World but reaching a point where I could take on groups of enemies without burning a small stack of potions was incredibly rewarding.

This led to my first quest: mastering combat.

See, Cube World doesn’t really provide long term objectives yet and is most definitely an alpha release. Since not all features are in that leaves only a few things to strive for:

Now I’ve ordered these by their relative accessibility to the early part of the game. The immediate thing that is available to you as a player is leveling. It doesn’t necesarilly require travel and there is generally a plethora of weak animals around for you to cut your combat teeth on.

As you quickly find out though the early levels in Cube World can be extremely slow your first time in the game. Fighting enemies one at a time and avoiding red named monsters means that experience comes slowly and levels slower. But you start to learn to manage multiple opponents and in your travels you begin to see the big guys. The ogres, the trolls, the reds… and you want to take them down. But you can’t. Often times one blow from these guys at an early level will leave you as a small cloud of falling voxels.

And it was this that drove me to level. I wanted to be able to beat these guys. I wanted to overcome them. And through this I improved my dodging, I expanded my skills, I learned their tells. Before I could take a troll I finally managed to beat a mission dungeon at level 5. The boss may have taken ages, and I might have gone through close to a stack of food and potions in getting to him, but I did it.

With beating a dungeon I finally unlocked faster leveling since with dungeons there is a greater density of enemies with a more normal level distribution. All of a sudden I could go up multiple levels in a short session and soon I was taking down my target enemies, even seeking them out, to see how they would challenge me.

Unfortunately, this only lasted so long. By the time I hit the low 20’s I felt like I had seen what there was to see of combat. I could farm the +4 enemies and even if I couldn’t drop the +4 bosses yet it didn’t matter, I already knew how to beat them and it was just a matter of gear. I even managed to take down one +4 boss at level 25 with lots of careful dodging and stun management but the exploration and experimentation was over.

It probably didn’t help that I was playing a Ninja, what I now know to be one of the most, if not the most, powerful class in the game.

So I sat there, reflecting on my experience so far and I didn’t feel done. I had logged well over ten hours of play and it struck me that I hadn’t really explored yet. And so I took my glider and headed to the next zone. And the next. And the next. I saw jungles and deserts, oceans and ice. I explored pyramids, castles, and caves. I fought sharks, mammoths, and demons. And I loved every moment of it.

As I explored these trully massive zones I started to collect the pets I had food for and I started to kill more varieties of creatures in the hopes of them dropping new animal foods. I even kept a list of animals I really wanted to get and a list of what foods I needed. And with this last stretch, I finally came across the end of the game for me, for now.

With close to twenty hours of play time Cube World was certainly not a waste of money for me and I really cannot wait to see what new things he adds to the game. I tried a bit of co-op, both remote and local, and only the local was really playable for me as the remote lag left everything teleporting. I can not but recommend it though, even in its alpha state, as nothing but a great experience. It is raw, simple, and elegant.

If you want it, head over to, create an account, and purchase it. You are unlikely to regret it.