Sugar Cube: a platformer with a refreshingly novel mechanic

Another great game review from Greg Costikyan and his Play This Thing! blog: this time, it's the 2010 IGF China Best Game winner Sugar Cube, a platformer with a novel and ingenious (and addictive!) mechanic:

At various points on the level are hidden items -- often platforms -- that are revealed, and switch "on," only when you pass through or near them. As you move about, the four squares immediately around you are tinted, and show the hidden items. Frequently, there are small "lights" on the screen that show the hidden items, in ghosted form, until turned on; but often, items are revealed only when you activate them. Finally, by holding "shift" while jumping, you can prevent items from "flipping" from active to inactive state.

The result is that each level holds surprises, and you have to learn how to time and use activations to get to the level end (represented by a door); sometimes you want an item to flip to inactive state to get through its location, while often you want to turn it on, to provide a location or item you can use.

Sugar Cube: Bittersweet Factory