At first glance Cubetractor looks like a simple puzzle game, one without too much challenge or depth, but even a few stages in will show that there's a competent puzzler hidden in the mix. You are Endroi, a lovable little blue robot who really can't understand why everyone is getting so angry, and you have one simple ability - to pull cubes towards yourself. With this one mechanic, and a variety of cubes to pull and combine, and you've got yourself a recipe for a colorful, fun puzzler.
Pulling blocks is the basis for all the game's mechanics: by pulling blocks into enemies, you can destroy them, and by pulling blocks into other blocks, you can set up turrets and other structures to help you, like walls or devices to power up towers. Each level gives you a particular set up, with different blocks strewn around the area at pre-defined locations, as well as enemies that will be gunning for you. Your goal is to figure out where the blocks need to be pulled in order to create structures that will destroy the bad guys and win the level.
The game's simple mechanics lead to some pretty complex puzzles, both mental and dexterous. See, different types of cubes combine into different types of objects, with a mix of offensive and defensive structures to assist you. And since cubes can only be pulled in straight lines, you need to be able to identify which cubes on the map can be combined. And since they can't be stopped once pulled, they either get combined mid-movement, or crash into something. Luckily, no level can ever be rendered unsolvable, since cube spawners will always replace those you've destroyed or combined within a few seconds.
The game doesn't just involve mental challenges either - any given point, you're dodging enemy bullets and pulled blocks (oh yeah, they hurt you too), all while planning out what to build and how. And for added replayability, there are challenge times to beat if you think you really know what you're doing. Many of these require you to never stop moving, and also to never get hit). See, the enemy have their own towers that are constantly firing at you and your structures. So, while building something to attack the enemy is simple enough, making sure that it survives long enough to actually do damage is something else. You might have to build walls in front of it to keep it out of the way of bullets, or a power plant near it to increase it's damage output. Of course, this is all while dodging the enemy's attacks as well as the blocks you're actually pulling back and forth, so planning while on the move is a must.
The game has a pleasant aesthetic going for it - colorful pastel colors fill the screen with 16-bit graphics and sound, a 'cute' appearance that really belies how maniacal the game can get in later levels. Regardless, it's pleasing on the eyes and even when you have to restart levels again and again, you won't be staring at anything unpleasant for the duration of your attempt.
And though you could probably get through the game quickly, there are a variety of side-levels to complete, as well as those challenges I mentioned before for each level. In it's entirely Cubetractor is a good puzzler, perhaps not great, that doesn't wear out its welcome - challenging, with replayability; a deceptively simple game with some depth hidden within.