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Kickle Cubicle (NES) artwork

Kickle Cubicle (NES) review

"I...I donít know what to say. "

I...I donít know what to say.

Kickle Cubicle is weird. Iíve played weird games before. Oh, Iíve fought Hilter in Advanced Daisenryaku, I became a woman in X-Change and Iíve even ran around in pyjamas and beat people up with a hash pipe in Ganbare Goemon.

But I think Kickle Cubicle could top all of those. Playing a bald little white man whoís wearing nothing but dungarees and earmuffs in obvious sub-zero weather is bad enough, but the fact that you have to save a kingdom which is inhabited by talking vegetables is just, well, itís just plain silly. Did Irem decide to take magic mushrooms one winter and used their vivid hallucinations as their backbone for this game? If so, I want whatever theyíre having.

Kickle Cubicle has the obvious set up for a NES puzzle game: Loads and loads of stages that feature the exact same task throughout. As this bald freak, who must be freezing his balls off in this arctic weather, you have to collect three glowing sacks, as well as fending off enemies and building paths across water. To do this, you have use Kickleís awesome power to throw ice at enemies! Doing so will turn the once-fearsome foe into a block of ice, which you can gracefully boot across the screen to build bridges across water. A typical map consists of two icy plains which are separated by a small stream. As you have to collect those three sacks, youíll find that Irem have been fiendishly clever and placed one or two on other side. So, you better freeze some enemies and construct a pathway over there now!

Kickle can freeze enemies and build barriers, which he can use to guide those kicked blocks of ice into different directions. Donít worry about running out of enemies or ice; two enemies keep regenerating after you kill them so if you end up making a horrible mistake and build a road to nowhere, you can correct your mistake by simply building more! While the two basic enemies are nothing but ice fodder, you can get absolute bastards of enemies as well. Take Max the one-eyed chicken for example. He can kick your ice blocks back at you if you leave any near him or Sparky the bomb, who is indestructible and takes perverse pleasure in exploding right next to an ice path that youíve been working on for the last five minutes!

Itís all a little too strange and, unfortunately, itís not particularly enjoyable either. Aside from being tragically repetitive, Kickle Cubicle can be downright frustrating on occasion, like when you realise that the last five minutes youíve spent building that path to nowhere has been a complete waste of time or because some bomb just taken it out. Itís also a game that relies incredibly on the same tasks and while some games do well at this such as Wani Wani World or Bubble Bobble, Kickle Cubicle does not.

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Featured community review by goldenvortex (November 24, 2006)

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