Back in the giddy early years of the British home computer revolution, like so many of my generation I was lured into the world of BASIC programming by the ZX Spectrum and those voluminous type-in listings from Sinclair User and Your Sinclair. My enthusiasm for coding petered out before my 12th birthday, but I did manage to save two wonky homebrew efforts to a C30 tape before my interest in the mystic runes of GOSUB and INKEY waned.
The first was a crude text adventure called Worm (it was about a worm) and the second was Beat the Blockoids. In this homespun classic of user-defined graphics and rudimentary processing you had to guide a tiny stickman across an empty screen. With every step, a scowling Blockoid spawned somewhere on the map, occasionally blocking your path but just as often appearing on top of the exit or directly underneath you, ensuring that victory was almost completely random. I was very proud of myself.
I don't know what twist in space-time made it possible, but somehow that dusty old cassette must have made its way to Japan, and the offices of Premium Agency and its publisher, Square Enix, because the annoyingly capitalised DEATH BY CUBES is nothing if not Beat the Blockoids re-imagined as a twin-stick shooter. It's not just the recurring cuboid motif that tips me off but the fact that, against all logic, the developers have retained my naively awful gameplay mechanic of repeatedly killing the player by spawning lethal enemies under their feet with no warning.