Ubinota
Gameplay 9
Graphics 8
Sound 8

Ubinota is a game that appears to be deceptively easy at first, but it definitely delivers a challenging experience as you progress. Levels not only come in all shapes and sizes, but thanks to the different paint colors, all with their own unique properties, the game never becomes repetitive. Anyone looking for a unique puzzle experience should definitely add Ubinota to their collection.

Gameplay: Very addictive and very challenging.

Graphics: Simple, but very colorful.

Sound: Very relaxing.

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Ubinota

Developer: Rotateam | Publisher: Rotateam | Release Date: 2015 | Genre: Indie / Puzzle | Website: Official Website | Format: Digital Download

When living on magical cubes in the sky the last thing you want is for these floating islands to start falling down. Unfortunately, this is exactly what happens to the inhabitants of Ubinota. It seems that the cubes on which they have built their homes are only kept together by magic paint, which is slowly drying out for some strange reason. Playing as Lucien, an apprentice painter, you must travel across the skies and repaint the unstable cubes in order to save the houses of the people living on the cubes.

The story is about as whimsical as you would expect from these types of puzzle games, but it provides you with a good excuse for painting magical floating blocks. I was howver surprised to see that the story actually gets fleshed out a little bit more over the course of the game and your journey will take you across seven different skies with more than 100 levels in total. Along the way you will encounter a wacky cast of characters and discover the reason why the magical paint is drying up.

Like any good puzzle game, your goal in Ubinota is very simple. Each level features some cubes suspended in the air and on these you will see a couple of houses. Your job is to paint the cubes in such a manner that when you hit the switch, which activates gravity, the cubes holding the houses remain stable. The game starts you off with standard blue paint which works like glue and connects any adjacent blocks you paint with it. The levels also feature “anchor” points of the same color which have to be connected to the painted blocks. Any blocks not painted or not connected directly to the anchor point will plummet as soon as you hit the red button which signifies that you are done painting. Everything starts out very straightforward, but the game soon becomes devious by making the levels all kinds of odd shapes or providing you with very limited paint. Additional anchor points and paint colors are also soon introduced to make things even trickier.

By the time you reach the later levels some real out of the box thinking is required to make progress. You’ll have access to red paint, which causes cubes to float, green paint which works like a weaker form of glue, and yellow paints which spread across any connected cubes of the same color with one stroke. I love how the game can be slightly unpredictable and some levels can come down to a house teetering on the brink of destruction for a few seconds before the game deems that your solution has worked. I’ve completed levels with houses laying upside down or resting on very unstable cubes, which I’m sure were not the “official” solutions.

Visually Ubinota looks very simple, but the bright, colorful graphics fit the relaxing atmosphere of the game perfectly. The visuals are 3D, so you can zoom and rotate to your heart’s content to ensure that you have covered all the necessary cubes with paint.

The game uses cell-shaded visuals and painted backgrounds, which looks really good. Since all the levels take place in the skies, the backgrounds are rather simple, but this makes it easier to concentrate on the cubes that you have to paint. Although the cubes are mostly blank, some levels feature graffiti style paintings on them, which is a really cool touch. While you are busy painting the cubes, the inhabitants of the houses you have to save will also go about their business, which means if you fail you get to see them plummeting to their doom along with their homes. The game is a little light on options though and you can only toggle the music and sound effects on or off. The game runs at whatever resolution you are using for your desktop, but there appears to be no way to play it in a windowed mode.

The music in Ubinota is very relaxing and half the time I barely even noticed it was playing while I was trying to figure out how to beat a level. If you pay attention to the music you’ll notice that it is actually quite good though. Sound effects are similarly unobtrusive and overall I liked the audio in this game. Controlling the game requires only a mouse, and paint is applied or removed from blocks by left-clicking. Holding down the right button enables you to move your mouse and rotate the view to get the optimal angle. You can also zoom in or out by using the mouse scroll wheel. If you fail a level you have to start from scratch, which is a bit annoying as it might have only been a single cube painted the wrong color that wrecked your efforts. I would have liked the option to tweak my existing setup when retrying instead of having to redo everything. It’s a minor complaint though, and overall the gameplay is top notch. The game has a very gentle difficulty curve and by the time you start to really run into brain teasers you will be hopelessly hooked already.

The fact that there are no time limits and levels can often be completed in multiple ways keeps the frustration to a minimum in this game. There were some levels that felt almost impossible until I rotated everything to the right angle and the solution suddenly seemed obvious. The game also keeps things varied by introducing the new paint colors or throwing curve balls at you, such as placing anchor points that don’t match the paint you have been given. Ubinota also has a ton of achievements to unlock, which coupled with the large amount of levels should keep most players busy for quite a while.

Ubinota offers a great combination of addictive gameplay and challenging puzzles which makes it an easy game to recommend to fans of the genre. The story doesn’t take itself very seriously, which is part of the charm, but it is the progressively harder levels that will keep you coming back for more.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows XP or later version
  • Processor: 1.5 Ghz
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Direct X9.0c Compatible Card
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • Hard Drive: 350 MB available space
  • OS: Windows XP or later version
  • Processor: 2.5 Ghz
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Direct X9.0c Compatible Card
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • Hard Drive: 350 MB available space

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2 Comments

  1. fabledpickle March 10, 2015
    Reply

    This looks a little mobile-ish but the concept sounds interesting enough to give it a whirl.

  2. Plunkett March 10, 2015
    Reply

    At 6,79€ this looks worth a shot.

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