Kuba stands for Kleverly Unique, Brutally Addictive. It is the computer version of a European two-player board game that has apparently enjoyed some modest success. Unfortunately I found the name to be inaccurate, and I was left wondering why they bothered to make a computer game out of it at all.
Gameplay, Controls, Interface
Kuba is a marble game played on a 7 x 7 square. Each player starts with eight marbles -- four each in two opposing corners. In the center of the board are thirteen neutral marbles. Each player may push one of his marbles one space as long as the space opposite the pushing direction is empty. Think of it as room to put your finger. The other rule preventing moves is that you may not immediately undo your opponent's move. You conquer marbles by pushing them off the board, and you may do this to either the neutral marbles or your opponents marbles. If you do conquer a marble you may immediately take another turn. You win the game by conquering seven neutral marbles or all you opponent's marbles. It's a pretty simple game.
To actually play your turn, you simply click and hold on a marble then move the mouse in the direction you want to push it. If the direction you pick is not a legal move, the cursor turns into an X. You may also select and move marbles using the arrow keys. The main menu screen allows you to set the players, options, and difficulty level.
The graphics in Kuba are crisp and the backgrounds are nicely drawn, in fact there are five different backgrounds with sound effects appropriate to each. Personally I don't care much about playing Kuba on the surface of mars. It doesn't add any enjoyment for me. On the downside, the game only plays in 640x480, and it doesn't switch resolution for you. I played most of my games in a half-size window centered on the screen.
The sound effects are fine (marbles go "click") and the background noises, while distracting, are appropriate to the backgrounds. The soundtrack selections are classical music, just the type of thing to listen to while playing an abstract strategy game.
Win95/3.x, Pentium 75 MHz, 16 MB RAM, 1MB SVGA, 20 MB Hard drive space.
Kuba can be played by hotseat, LAN, internet or direct modem connection. They advertise that it can be played on Microsoft's Internet Gaming Zone, but as of this writing that option wasn't working.
Personally I don't think this game should have been made. Unless there's a die-hard Kuba fan-base out there that can't find local players, Kuba should have been left as a coffee table game. Trust me, this isn't go or chess. I was disappointed that the only thing the computer game adds is a few different backgrounds to play on and some music. It would have been nice to try some variants such as different size boards or some different starting positions.
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP