Voltron: Cubes of Olkarion from Gbanga (Miliform Inc.)
Voltron: Cubes of Olkarion is a competitive strategy game with an almost Tetris-esque vibe of competitive puzzling. Two sides must build cube-based defenses and establish offensive options to tear through the opposing side’s barriers and gain victory. Voltron currently offers one-on-one vs other players (local and online) or AI.
The Building Blocks of Strategy
The premise of Voltron is that of a one-on-one strategy game where everything is achieved through the placement of eight kinds of block. Each block serves as a basic barrier defense while also providing some kind of additional benefit that can help push the battle of attrition in your favor.
To win, you need to hit the enemy’s base on the other side of the screen three times with projectiles launched from various blocks. Each time you hit the enemy base it retracts further into the ground, making it harder to land another hit.
My first foray into Voltron’s fast-paced matches of build and destroy was wildly unsuccessful, but thankfully the game is an adept teacher, and its tutorials are thorough, if a little bit too lengthy. Once I got to grips with the various blocks and their uses, I managed to take on the various AI opponents on offer, although the “Hard” difficulty provides a very solid challenge.
The blocks available vary from simple projectile firing cubes to more complex drone launchers or ice beam projectors. Blocks can be built at predetermined starting points, with additional cubes attached from there.
Defenders of the Universe
Maintaining a constant wall between your base and enemy attacks is crucial, and while this is being done, there is the matter of applying pressure to the enemy and trying to get a hit through their defenses.
In addition to this constant process of multi-tasking between offense and defense, there is a power meter that, once filled, rapidly increases the speed of block cool-downs.
This can make for some intense moments, but it’s a pity that this ability is possessed by all of the game’s playable characters. A growing roster exists, and it feels like they should bring unique powers to the field, rather than being entirely aesthetic choices.
Speaking of aesthetics, Voltron is well put together with good visuals and sound to back up its pacey action. Blocks also feature satisfying sound-effects for their various attacks, and the characters themselves have superb anime-style animations when you use up your power meter.
The punchy soundtrack helps to support the feel of competitive strategy at play here.
And I’ll Form the Head
Voltron: Cubes of Olkarion is a compelling concept well executed; the well-paced block placement action is engaging, leading to interesting plays and counter-plays. This is a game that could provide some truly interesting PVP action.
It’s a shame that – at the moment at least – there isn’t much of a single-player offering here, and as the game is currently unreleased, it’s impossible to see what the PVP side of the game will really shape into, but for now this is a title with considerable potential and definitely one to watch.