The Cub is the final installment of the Radio Nostalgia From Mars trilogy by Serbian developer Demagog Studio. Although the game was released back in January 2024, it seems more logical for us to get acquainted with it now, after the previous part of the series, Highwater, ceased to be a Netflix exclusive and appeared on other platforms. Moreover, right now The Cub has received a 50% discount on Steam, which is a good opportunity to pay attention to this game.

Game The Cub
Genre platformer
Platforms Windows, PlayStation 4/5, Nintendo Switch
Languages English
Developer Demagog Studio
Publisher Untold Tales
Link, Steam

Radio Nostalgia From Mars trilogy

The trilogy about the city of Alphaville or Radio Nostalgia From Mars includes the games Golf Club Nostalgia (2019), which was originally called Golf Club: Wasteland, Highwater (2023 Netflix, 2024 other platforms) and now The Cub. Despite the fact that all these games belong to different genres and have completely different gameplay, they tell different parts of a common story. This is the story of the Great Ecological Catastrophe and the migration of the richest part of humanity to Mars, followed by their return to the desecrated Earth, which becomes a playground and a field for experiments for the rich survivors.

In terms of gameplay, Golf Club Nostalgia is a 2D mini-golf game to which the authors were able to add a rather powerful story component thanks to the environment and… the soundtrack, that is, the broadcasts of the same Radio Nostalgia From Mars. Yes, a powerful story in a minigolf, it does happen, as it turns out. It’s a story about a pilot who escaped from Mars to Earth, plays golf on the ruins, and reminisces about his life.

Highwater is a 3D adventurous game with turn-based tactical battles and an equally interesting story. This is a prequel to Golf Club Nostalgia, which takes place in the days and hours before the last ship of the rich leaves the Earth, leaving billions of people to die. The story centers on a group of desperate people trying to get on the ship.

And finally, The Cub, a full-fledged sequel to Golf Club Nostalgia, which continues the story of the same astronaut-golfer on Earth, but now in a platformer format with a child-earthling who has adapted to new living conditions in the lead role.


Mowgli and the Martians

In addition, The Cub is also a modern post-apocalyptic version of the Mowgli story. The human child, who was left to die on an uninhabitable Earth, was also raised by wolves, and now he is apprehensive about meeting Martian humans who want to catch and study the strange mutant. Of course, they will not succeed.

The Cub is a classic platformer, and I must say it’s very good and quite challenging. Jumping, jumping, dodging, swinging on ropes/vines, climbing, sometimes swimming and driving and so on. In some places, I think it’s a bit of a difficult platformer, because I tried to complete the part with the bison at the end, the escape from the robot, and the trolley race more than ten times. There’s nothing impossible, but the sequences of error-free jumping and dodging are sometimes really long.

What’s striking about The Cub and the entire Radio Nostalgia From Mars trilogy is how, despite different approaches to graphics, even 2D and 3D in different parts, different genres and gameplay, the authors maintain the integrity of the visual style and approach to telling the story.

The locations we see in different parts have common features, the characters have common memories and characters. In fact, we saw this boy and the man in the spacesuit in the first game of the series, Golf Club Nostalgia, and some places in The Cub are reminiscent of events and characters from Highwater.


Radio Nostalgia is back with you from Mars

In fact, the plot in all three games is a mix of dialogues/monologues of the characters, stories told through the environment and notes, stories of the DJ and guests of Radio Nostalgia From Mars, and musical compositions, the lyrics and mood of which are carefully selected by the authors and are an important part of the narrative. In fact, the soundtrack is one of the best features of the entire series, and The Cub is no exception.

Another remarkable feature of all the games in the Radio Nostalgia From Mars trilogy is the specific humor of the developers, who ridicule Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, Facebook and Twitter, modern consumerism and the purely ostentatious fight for the environment, the hypocrisy of Western society and the worthlessness of international organizations. Much of this will be well understood by Ukrainians.

In addition, The Cub, as well as other parts of the series, has a lot of references and outright mockery of the media, famous books, games, movies, etc. But here, of course, it is important to understand what exactly the developers are laughing at.


Mowgli in a new way

Like the previous installments in the series, The Cub is a short game. There are less than 3 hours of gameplay, and if you’re not mistaken, although it’s not really possible, you can probably complete the game in 2 hours. On the other hand, this may be for the best, because endless open worlds and game services are getting a little boring. A short, complete story for one evening is exactly what you need.

For a comprehensive understanding of the plot, it is better to play all parts of the trilogy in turn, but if you start with The Cub and limit yourself to it, nothing bad will happen.

Until April 29, 2024, The Cub is available on Steam with a 50% discount for only 162 UAH. We think this is a very good offer, so pay attention to this game.