Publisher: Alessandro Guzzo
Developer: Alessandro Guzzo
Release Date: 10/21/2021
Available Exclusively On
I absolutely love Lovecraftian horror. There’s something about it that’s so incredibly mysterious and still leaves it that way after the story is told. There isn’t much in terms of monsters or jump scares, but mostly just really weird imagery, atmosphere, and psychological effects on characters. The Alien Cube nails the atmosphere and strange landscapes and imagery, but sadly, not much else.
You start out in a forest where you find a weird cube that crash-landed from the sky. It’s obviously extraterrestrial, but after getting this cube it’s just one weird trippy event after another. There is a weird occult after the cube and you’re trying to keep it from them, but also following clues left by your uncle. That’s it as far as story. Most of it is told through journal entries, but don’t expect deep lore, character development, or world-building here. This is straight-up your typical “walking simulator” with just decent graphics and strange imagery.
There are different environments you’ll end up in from indoors to outdoors. There aren’t any puzzles here, but there are roadblocks that require you to find an item to advance such as bolt cutters to break a lock, a shovel to clear a path, an axe to chop down a path, etc. These items usually aren’t hidden at all so there isn’t a challenge to this game either. It’s really just a rollercoaster of weird images. There is some minor backtracking such as visiting areas from before just to pass through them, and it’s hard to die. There are a few areas that require you to make it to a certain other area before you freeze to death, and there is one long swimming session towards the end, but nothing crazy. You will run into monsters here, but these are scripted chase scenes and unless you stop to take in the sights, you can’t really die.
The sad part about this game is it doesn’t break the Lovecraftian video game stereotypes. Usually, they’re clunky, void of any type of cohesive or interesting story, no character development, and just really weird imagery. The Alien Cube doesn’t help this any. I still feel Dark Corners of the Earth is the best Cthulhu-based game so far and hasn’t been beaten. While it’s clunky by today’s standards, it’s a much longer adventure and actually has somewhat of a story. Outside of just walking forward forever, the graphics are rather decent using the CryEngine, but not on a level we’ve seen in the past. Most of the game is very dark and foggy. It can also be finished in less than three hours.
Overall, The Alien Cube is a decent Cthulhu game but doesn’t do anything we haven’t already seen. Thanks to its short length it’s an enjoyable rollercoaster of weird imagery, but nothing more. Without any type of combat, hiding, or puzzle solving there’s not much of a game here either.