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The Cub PC Review – Platforming with Great Vibes

The Cub is an excellent platformer set in the same universe as Golf Club: Wasteland by developers Demagog Studio and publisher Untold Tales, launching January 19 (Jan 20 for us in ANZ). First announced in early 2022 and utilising the same neon-lit apocalyptic world, The Cub takes the premise and locations from the first game whilst changing the angle of play, putting us in control of a boy who has been raised on Earth by a pack of wolves. Radio Nostalgia from Mars is back again providing us with music that sets the vibe perfectly and intersperses with stories of survivors of life on Mars.

After the Great Ecological Catastrophe on Earth, the ultrarich flee to Mars and leave the rest to perish. Decades pass and those on Mars venture back to Earth to do recon. Among those left behind on Earth is a small child, The Cub, who developed immunity to the hostile planet’s remains. When they spot this child, they immediately try to capture him. This sets off a journey of escape, exploration, and discovery through the urban ruins of humanity coupled with frantic cat and mouse chases.

If you have played Golf Club: Wasteland previously, you will be familiar with the setting. In fact, it’s almost the exact same paths that the golfer took when he was trying to put his way through sections of the world. Buildings and monuments that were mostly in the background in Golf Club: Wasteland are now integral parts of the level design that the Cub runs, jumps and climbs. Not only do you need to perfect the jump and double jump distances, but you’ll also need to dodge animals like alligators and spikey beings that will shoot their spines at you if you get too close.

You will die a lot in this game. In fact, I got an achievement early on for dying ten different ways from landing on spikes, being electrocuted, being caught by the henchmen in space suits, to falling to my death from a miss-timed jump. You can swing from tree vines and hanging chains, vault yourself up off tree branches, climb ladders, and even push boxes to get you some extra height to be able to jump up and continue to the next area.

There is a heap of collectible items to gather up as you explore. Some are obvious and shiny, while others you could quickly run past if you’re not looking for them. Aside from collecting burps, you’ll find USB sticks, newspaper clippings, books and videos that provide you with backstory and snippets of information both from previous lives on Earth and adjusting to their new lives on Mars. You can hit Escape to get to the menu and browse these collectibles in the cave. These provide a good distraction if you’re getting frustrating at trying to pass a certain section.

There were many times where I was getting frustrated at the game’s controls. I played on PC, and you use either WSAD or the arrow keys to move, space to jump, alt to dash and so on. There are many sections where you are sliding down steep slopes, or you hit control to roll just before you hit the ground to soften the impact. Some sections are so fast paced that I died as I got to each new type of obstacle. I took these are learning moments, but some of them required some precise timing which I wasn’t good at. While others, like a cart on rails section, was just about anticipating what was coming and reacting quickly enough. Checkpoints are set regularly so you never lose too much progress.

Challenging moments aside, I absolutely loved the music tracks that are played via Radio Nostalgia from Mars. The stories of survivors were as gripping as those we heard in Golf Club: Wasteland. Every song was fantastic, and it wasn’t about matching the setting of the levels I was in at the time, the songs just create such a fantastic vibe that at times I didn’t mind dying so often just so long as the tunes kept playing. The music is certainly the highlight of the game for me.

Overall, The Cub is an excellent platformer set after the events of Golf Club: Wasteland and utilise the same setting, with more amazing tunes from Radio Nostalgia from Mars. The general platforming is decent with some frustrating sequences that require precise timing, but the checkpoints are regular enough not to lose progress. The stories told are engaging and the tunes are such a vibe that it was a joy to return to this setting once again. If you haven’t played the previous game, I highly recommend taking a look and if you’re a platformer fan, The Cub is definitely worth a play.

This review utilised a Steam key provided by Wiretap Media and The Cub will launch on January 19 (Jan 20 for us in ANZ) on Steam, PlayStation and Nintendo Switch. The Xbox version of the game has been postponed without a release date.


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