Though the game's original Japanese title, Animal Leader, hints at the ultimate goal in Cubivore, its domestic name provides a slightly more apt description of what you can expect to be doing. You'll find yourself in an unnaturally square world, populated by blocky creatures called Cubivores. The mack daddy of all Cubivores, the Killer Cubivore, is apparently kind of a jerk -- everybody was getting along just fine until he showed up with his band of colorless Cubivores, and if you've ever seen The Lion King, you can probably guess what happens next.

The colorless Cubivore army decided to chow down on nature's inhabitants, and had soon robbed the world of that spiritual something -- in this case, "Wilderness" -- that makes the grass green, the sky blue, and the people happy. What's a Cubivore to do? Become the King of all Cubivores, knock off the Killer Cubivore, and restore peace, justice, and Wilderness to the barren quadratic landscape.

Easier said than done. You begin the game as a cutesy Piggy Cubivore; alas, lovability doesn't count for much in the wild, so the first order of business is to find some easy prey. To have any chance of taking on the Killer Cubivore, however, good old evolution will have to take its course. After defeating other Cubivores and stealing their body parts to grow stronger, finding a mate and producing an offspring will result in a new, superior character.



The mutation system in Cubivore is surprisingly complex, and the type of animal you evolve into will vary depending on the kinds of Cubivore parts you obtain. There are also some basic RPG mechanics at work here, and certain special locations scattered throughout the wilderness will allow you to level up certain abilities, such as defense or attack power. My personal favorite? Hump points.

Cubivore
is obviously a fight for survival, and at its heart the concept is actually pretty horrifying. Being the predator might just seem like fun and games, but when a bigger, badder Cubivore latches onto you and forcibly rips off one of your square appendages, the experience can be scarring. The real power comes from Raw Meat, which is the embodiment of the Wilderness we're seeking to restore. Only by obtaining Raw Meat and gaining special abilities from each piece will you be able to slay the Killer Cubivore.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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