Nubla is a graphic adventure game that uses pieces of art as the background for its world, with the intention of introducing the player to some stunning visuals that are wrapped around a game. Nubla looks incredible, but its lack of depth and extremely short run time make it a hard game to recommend outside of an impulse sales buy.
Nubla is a game that was inspired by the idea of creating a piece of software that could honor the artwork contained in the Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum, which is located in Madrid. The game was created as part of the PlayStation Talents program in Spain, but the game is now available on the PC platform for the first time. The intention was to create a video game that would allow people to experience real artwork and Nubla does succeed on that aesthetic front.
The story of Nubla is barebones: the player chooses a male or female avatar and they wake up in a museum with a bunch of empty portraits. The player then chooses a bizarre humanoid form that is composed of a drawing to act as their avatar in the different levels of the game. Nubla is broken up into small stages that contain very basic puzzles, ranging from memory games to item collecting. The puzzles in Nubla are simple to the point of being able to easily brute force your way through them, even if the solution is not apparent from the start.
Nubla is a visual treat, with every stage consisting of a beautifully rendered piece of artwork for its background image. The player is given the chance to explore these pieces while soothing classical music plays in the background. The game succeeds in giving the player the chance to experience artwork that they might not have ever seen otherwise.
One of the main issues with Nubla is its length, as the entire game can be experienced in under an hour. The fact that the puzzles are so simple means that the player won't have the time to appreciate the scenery for long before moving on to the next area. The story is barebones and is told in brief snippets of text that are scattered throughout the game. The elements of the story only exist to move the player from one area to the next and on to the conclusion of the game.
It's hard to judge Nubla strictly on its value as a video game, as it's clear that the intention was to give players an experience that will allow them to appreciate art, which it succeeds in doing. The problem is that Nubla is extremely short and offers little interesting content outside of its backgrounds. The developers of Nubla should be commended for their passion in bringing such a project to life, but it just doesn't work as a game.
2 Out Of 5 Stars
A Steam review copy of Nubla was provided to TheGamer for this review. Nubla is available on PC.