Developed by Australia's very own
Manic Game Studios, their new game Critical Mass will be
the next big casual PC game. If you thought that Peggle or
Bejewelled was addictive, wait until you play Critical Mass which is
the love child of Tetris meets the Rubik Cube.
At it's core, Critical Mass is a
traditional coloured based puzzle block game which requires the player to
match four colours in order to prevent the 3D cube from reaching
critical mass. Imagine a 3D Rubik Cube rotating on your screen and
by matching four colours together like blue, it will make the cube
smaller. If you fail or put the colour on the wrong part of the
cube, it will grow.
Each cube that you get to launch is a different
colour but by left clicking on your mouse, you can rotate the cube
in order to find the best fit for that colour. By pressing the right
button on the mouse, this launches the cube. The more mistakes you
make, the closer the cube gets to the player and eventually it will
reach critical mass and it's game over. Then you have timers,
multipliers, high scores and the like and you really start buzzing.
What a mind mess... yet enjoyable!
Critical Mass features four different
modes of play that include Classic, Survival, Meditation and Rush.
Classic is your traditional level based mode which requires the
player to remove all blocks from the screen. Once all the blocks are
gone, you will then proceed to the next level. Survival is a little
different because it supports multiple stages but with a timer.
Needless to say, working with the cube and the timer does cause some
good old fashioned gamer grief.
Meditation on the other removes the
sense of urgency from the gameplay and allows the player to build
the biggest cubes possible. It's definitely less intensive but still
a treat to play. Lastly, we have Rush which requires you to prevent
critical mass but unfortunately, it's a fast paced mode which uses
both the timer and the score. The timer counts up, whereas the score
counts down. Deliciously addictive!
Graphically, Critical Mass is very
simplistic but looks great on our 1080p widescreen monitor. The
frame rate of the cube moving is flawless which matches the high
definition colours well. The game does have this "space" theme
behind it and fortunately the music is quite relaxing. Add in a
variety of sound effects and the graphics, sound and gameplay meld
into something truly unique and fun to play.
Although there is no multiplayer mode,
the game does support an online ranking system and an achievements
area to see what you have unlocked. I also like how the game
displays your personal best as well. With all this evidence, Critical Mass is a fun and very addictive game that is not
only very frustrating but quite rewarding, especially when your cube
grows expansionary and somehow you manage to prevent it from
reaching critical match by getting into the "zone" and matching all
your colours. The game is currently available for PC only via Steam,
however a Mac version is in the works and hopefully an iPad version
In the end, I really enjoyed playing
Critical Mass and I'll be playing this for quite some time,
especially the meditation mode and survival. If you still don't
believe us, check out the official webpage at
and download the demo! What a game! Critical Mass is set to be
available from the 20th of June 2011.