The Cub review for Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation, Xbox

Platform: Nintendo Switch
Also on: PC, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, PS4, PS5
Publisher: Untold Tales
Developer: Demagog Studio
Medium: Digital
Players: T
Online: No
ESRB: E10+

It’s not often that sports games of any sort get – or even need – sequels (unless we’re counting annualized versions, in which case they kind of get them every year). It’s probably even rarer for sports games to branch off into other genres. And yet, that’s exactly what we have in The Cub: a platformer sequel to Golf Club: Wasteland (or Golf Club Nostalgia).

To be fair, it’s not quite as left-field a turn as you might think. Golf Club: Wasteland was a post-apocalyptic puzzle game where the ultra-rich golfed among Earth’s ruins. The Cub is set in the same universe, with the eponymous Cub trying to evade capture from those golfers. The game describes itself as “Jungle Book meets The Armageddon,” and, all things considered, it’s mostly a pretty accurate descriptor.

Just about the only thing missing from that description is a reference to Inside, or some other equally tough 2D platformer – because really, that’s what The Cub is. It’s the kind of game where you move slowly through every new screen, regularly being murdered by hazards that it’s awfully easy to miss the first time around.

The problem is that even if The Cub borrows from those incredibly challenging platformers, it doesn’t have quite the same tight controls that those other platformers have. Jumps can seem a little inconsistent, as can sliding. It’s never clear when a fall is going to kill you. While the game generally works pretty well, it’s hard not to think of those other games – and for The Cub to feel a little lacking by comparison.

Still, even if the platforming isn’t perfect, The Cub makes up for that by having a richly imagined world. Your journey through the post-apocalyptic Earth is soundtracked by a radio station full of DJ chatter, survivor reminisces, and slightly atonal music. It all helps give the game a near-perfect atmosphere.

It’s too bad that the platforming can’t also be described as near-perfect, since that would’ve made The Cub a must-play. As it stands, it’s a surprisingly appropriate sequel to a game that wouldn’t have seemed like it needed one, and if you want more of that apocalyptic Earth, you won’t regret revisiting it here.

Untold Tales provided us with a Cub Nintendo Switch code for review purposes.

Score: 7.5

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