IGN Review of Rubik's World
Rubik's World is an odd concept for a game. Take one of the more imaginative puzzle game developers out there, team it with a licensed based on solving the Rubik's Cube, and then try and create a product that's worth full price. We've heard the jabs and jokes about Rubik's World, and they sound similar to all the other "game based on board games/puzzles" ones out there: How can you charge more for a game than the product it's based off of?
Well, you can start by adding a huge mass of content. That'd be one great way to do it.
Rubik's World isn't a product for everyone, and for the hardcore puzzlers out there we'd easily suggest the other Two Tribes offering on Wii, which would be Toki Tori WiiWare. The truth of it is that Rubik's World is going to get noticed this holiday season, and even if it isn't the hardcore gamers that swarm to it first, it will be purchased. The other truth about Rubik's World is that while it may not live up to the standards of hardcore puzzle gamers out there, the final product is one that offers a lot for the younger crowd, and dabbles in creation just as much as gameplay.
We wrote a volume on Rubik's World just a few short days ago, so if you're late to the party be sure to check it out for more information on the specific games included. The bottom line for the review though is whether the game is fun, and if it's worth the cash.
Rubik's World does a few things in a very interesting way, and for that we give it props. The creation elements that we mentioned above, for example, are extremely simple, but something you don't often see in the majority of games, let alone licensed ones. It's fun to create objects and see them littered throughout the world, and the music creation software – while extremely basic – is easy to use, and like the music maker in Animal Crossing is a nice little feature you forget about at first, create a few tunes in, and then later are surprised by your own music playing in game. It's a simple pleasure, but it works for what it is.
On the technical side all of the games work, though there's some IR mastery that'll be needed for a few of the building aspects, as well as a couple of the games. Everything works, and the interface and in-level design is actually really clean, intuitive, and easy to use despite getting off to a rocky start when we played earlier versions. You'll need to know how to use the IR pretty well though, and even then there are some random instances when building things or moving around objects where it can be a bit touchy. While we're on the subject of IR, Fit Mode is one of the games that just didn't come together for us, as it was a bit too free-form and not quite as challenging as the other modes in the package. This entirely IR-based game is a lot like Human Tetris (slam shapes to flatten them, or stack blocks to fit them through unique wall gaps), but it just never came together.
With that being said, a few of the other games really came together, and are surprisingly challenging to beat. "View" and "Guide", for example, are both really fun, and deceptively tough. View is all about trying to duplicate a number of 2D pictures with a 3D object, but since creating something from one angle will look like one shape, and looking at the same object from another can be totally different, it's a serious brain-teaser. With Guide, we were happy to dive into another Chu Chu Rocket-like game, and while it really ended up just leaving us with Chu Chu Rocket withdrawal, it's also a fun spin on that same design, just minus the cats and rocket ships.
Multiplayer never really did come together as well as it could though, and that's a shame. Fit, as we mentioned, is Human Tetris, but never really comes together, and the Boom Blox clone "Deconstruct" again gave us flashbacks to other, obviously more fleshed out experiences. Of course when you look at the package across the board, it's visually stronger than it was originally, the audio is improved, the interface has taken tremendous strides for the better, and a few of the games are good fun. This game has come a long way from what we first saw.
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