The Cub – Review
Follow Genre: 2D Platformer
Developer: Demagog Studio
Publisher: Untold Games
Platform: PC, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, PS4, PS5
Tested on: PS5

The Cub – Review

Site Score
Good: Fun platforming, Great presentation
Bad: Some unfair sections
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Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

The gaming landscape of today is filled with so much variety that players of every kind will find their niche. From cooking simulators to action games where health bars are presented by how many clothes your character wears, if you can imagine it, it probably exists. If we look back around 30 years, there is one clear genre that was king of the jungle, namely the 2D platformer. Dozens of iconic titles were released in those days, presenting players with incredibly hard challenges and precise jumping. Now developer Demagog Studio wants to take you back to this time with their post-apocalyptic love letter, The Cub.


The Cub presents a classical tale like Jungle Book but with a post-apocalyptic twist. When the world finally succumbed to the destruction of humanity, a big part of the human race was able to flee to Mars and start a new civilization. The people who got left behind quickly died out thanks to many wars and battles. The only ones who survived were the young children who left the cities and ended up being raised by wolves. Years pass and you take on the role of one of these children who got separated from his mother once the Mars expedition started. Now you will explore this post-apocalyptic world, where some humans have just returned from Mars to see how Earth is doing.

There isn’t much more to the story than this. Most of the game consists of you traveling through ruins and avoiding the wildlife, humans, and even rogue AI to survive. While this would sound like a bad point, it most definitely isn’t. The game itself is only a few hours long, so the focus on survival is just enough to keep you entertained. The returned humans don’t get a lot of explanation, but they are present enough to feel like a real threat to the child. The same can be said about the other characters you meet along the way. None of these characters have a ton of screen time or development, but there’s just enough content to deliver a simple and compelling narrative.


The Cub is a real joy to look at. From the variety of environments to the intimidating beasts, every piece of this world has been crafted with care. Vibrant colors will make you feel welcome in this destroyed world and show the apocalypse through the eyes of a young child who has made the jungle his home. Along with this colorful world come cutscenes that are presented like they are cave paintings, offering a unique style of storytelling.


The audio design might just be the best part of The Cub. Early on in the game, the child finds a helmet from a dead astronaut and decides that this will become his new decorative headwear. The fun bonus of this helmet is the built-in radio that will now be ever present in your ears. While you would expect this to be just a collection of songs, it actually presents you with a full-blown radio station, including a DJ presenter, a bright catalog of songs, and even guests who tell their life stories. This presents a very unique experience that fits the feeling of traveling very well. The songs that are presented cover a large variety of genres and the things they talk about on the radio give you more context on the world or even tie in with the story. The voice of the radio host is also a pretty nice one to listen to, in contrast to the performance of the child during cutscenes, which can be a bit jarring.


The Cub is a 2D platformer that is pretty true to the origins of the genre by only presenting you with jumping and running. While there are also a few instances where you have to interact with the surroundings, these are so few and far between that it is hard to call them an extensive gameplay mechanic. While this might sound like a boring game on the surface, the platforming is a ton of fun and the different environments pose a ton of gameplay changes. While one section will see you making precise jumps to get up destroyed buildings, another one will have you running for your life from dangerous beasts.

Just like in the good old days, you have only one life, and an unfortunate enemy encounter or a missed jump will mean instant death. Luckily the game has loads of checkpoints and brings you back into the action pretty quick. The game poses a bit of a challenge, but won’t have you pulling your hair out. Some sections feature some hard-to-predict obstacles or very precise jumps that will offer a challenge and can get a bit frustrating, but they aren’t game-breaking.

While traversing the world you also have the option to encounter a ton of collectibles, from old movies to data files. None of these offer any gameplay advantages, but they incite players to explore certain locations that have multiple paths to take. Some of them even feature information about the world and what happened to it.


The Cub is a love letter to old-school 2D platformers and does everything it wants to do right. The platforming is precise and a ton of fun, and the simple short story will have you falling in love with it. This is all paired with a great presentation that shows the charms of a good radio station. Gamers who are looking for a fun platforming adventure can’t miss out on this one.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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