We have to admit, we liked Rubik’s World more than we anticipated we would. The developers have created not just a very workable virtual version of the Rubik’s Cube, but seven additional puzzle games – a couple of which could stand on their own.
We’ll start with the obvious flagship: the Rubik’s Cube itself. You can solve 4x4, 3x3, and 4x4 cubes, and it actually works just as well here as it does in real life. The cube appears onscreen and you can easily move the cube’s rows and columns with a flick of the stylus, or rotate the whole thing in 3D space by moving your stylus around the empty area around the cube. And because it’s a virtual cube, you can easily start with it pristine and solved or randomly mixed up, or test your skill at recreating certain patterns the game gives you. Let’s see a real-world cube do that.
Moving beyond the main game are seven mini-games, some of which are quite good. Fit finds you manipulating individual colored cubes into larger shapes to see if they fit through holes in a descending platform. Switch is a sliding-puzzle type game in which you’re grouping same-colored cubes to make them poof out of existence. Both of these, as well as the main game, can be played wirelessly with another player as well.
Moving on, Roll tasks you with guiding a cube to safety across a platform populated with obstacles, and even enemies. Then comes the most unique game in the set: Color. Basically, your cube appears on a structure made out of other cubes. It wants to roll to an exit point across the pile, but it will get stuck if it rolls over a surface of a different color. Thus, your job is to choose what color each side of your cube should be to ensure it has a smooth tumble to safety.
The remaining puzzles are okay, if not amazing. Calculate gives you two math problems at a time, and their answers correspond to the X and Y coordinates on a grid. Do the math right and color in the resulting squares, and you’ll make a picture. Create finds you making things out of cubes (trees and clouds, for example) and Compose attempts to be a music editor, but it’s not too graceful.
That’s the whole package, and it’s more than we expected. You’ll need an appreciation for the cube itself to get the most out of this (and you may want to destroy whoever programmed the chirpy music and decided to call the cubes “cubies” and give them a story) but it’s a solid value for puzzle players.
Dec 31, 2008