Cubistry

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Cubistry (and the other Istry series games)

MSRP: Free for PC (Cubistry only), $0.99 on mobile platforms

Platforms: PC (Cubistry only), iOS, Android, Kindle Fire

Release: 1/11/13


The Hohng Company’s tile matching games are like my dirty little secret that lives on my Kindle.  At this point, I own five games in the series, and have been greedily eyeing a couple more.  Basically, each game plays identically; what you’re paying for is the different tile sets.  And there are a lot of tile sets, and they’re pretty wonderful.

Cubistry is the original, and there’s a free PC demo on the page listed above (scroll all the way down to find it).  It only contains two of the many modes available (puzzle and cube attack), but it’s definitely adequate to figure out if you like the 3D aspect of the game.  Just note that it’s a whole lot smoother play with a touchscreen than it is with a keyboard and mouse.

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In puzzle mode, you’re given a six by six by six cube with a bunch of different tiles to match.  Unlike most mahjongg solitaire games, the tiles don’t require a free edge to match, only an exposed face.  This makes it less about strategy and more about speed. There is no shuffle key because you won’t need one; there are always matches that can be made.

Cube Attack mode gives you a small number of matchable cubes at at time.  As the game progresses, more come at once, and they start coming faster.  The game ends only when the entire six by six by six cube has been built. It’s not a mode that I personally enjoy (I find it far too easy at the beginning, so it goes on forever), but it can be useful if you’re still learning the tile set, and if you don’t mind one heck of a marathon matching session.

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The mobile version also includes a timed mode, where the goal is to clear as many cubes as possible in the set time.  These are my preferred modes, with five minute timed being my go to.  Some of the later entries into the series also offer co-operative and puzzle modes.

The PC version is good for what it is – a demo.  However, the mobile versions are a steal. If you’re a Kindle Fire owner, currently Cubistry, and four other Istry games are available completely free via Amazon Underground.

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