Rubik's World


posted 1/12/2009 by Sean Colleli
other articles by Sean Colleli
One Page Platforms: Wii
Rubik’s World adds a couple free-form modes for you to flex your creativity. “Compose” asks you to arrange simple tunes out of notes and several styles of music: percussion, synth, organ, piano, etc. This mode is virtually identical to the DS version, but I can understand that form follows function here. In “Create” you must stack cubies into roughly recognizable shapes, based on a prompt the game gives you like “build a tree” or “build a cloud.” An interesting side effect of these modes is that your creations will start to show up in the menus. The main menu will be more colorful as more cubies “come out” to play, and the tunes you compose will start to replace some of the incidental jingles.

No Rubik’s Cube game would be complete without the original puzzle, and the Wii title has four versions to solve. In addition to the Mini Cube (2x2x2), Standard (3x3x3) and Rubik’s Revenge (4x4x4), which featured in the DS game, the daunting 5x5x5 Professor Cube is also included, along with a tutorial that takes you through the basic steps of solving each Cube. The 3D cube displayed on the screen can be rotated with the Nunchuk stick, and the different sections can be slid and turned by grabbing them with the A button and gesturing with the remote. I was surprised to find that manipulating the on-screen cube was easier on Wii than on DS, but a couple of the DS game’s problems remain. The camera control is much better, but at times the game still rotated the sections contrary to my input. A hands-on approach will always be superior to solving a Rubik’s Cube on a screen.

Rubik’s World Wii feels just slightly more approachable than the DS game, but it still suffers from a highly abstract, minimalist interface. It’s not for kids, unless they’re particularly talented in math and abstract math puzzles. The puzzles are difficult to grasp and get ruthlessly unforgiving within a few levels, so most kids will probably get frustrated and drop the game. Rubik’s World is also a very visual game, and all the tutorials are in text so they aren’t very helpful. Lots of trial and error is required, sometimes just to figure out how a puzzle is played, much less solved. Visual tutorials would have made it easier to get into the individual minigames.

This also isn’t a puzzle game you play to relax, unlike like Game Factory’s Zenses series. The obscure cubie games will frustrate most people of above-average intelligence, and only the Mensa crowd will really groove on them. Basically, unless you love solving the original Rubik’s Cube, this game won’t do much for you except make you feel insecure about your intelligence. Even if you’re a Rubik’s Cube fanatic with a lot of experience, the disconnected controls might be annoying. At this point, I unfortunately must recommend you buy a real Rubik’s Cube over the game. Nothing compares to the tactile feel of working one of those puzzles, and while I appreciate Two Tribes trying to create some companion puzzles for the legendary Cube, it just doesn’t translate well to a console game.

Rubik’s World has the right idea, but counter-intuitive puzzles, less-than-helpful instructions and finicky controls make this game more aggravating than mind-bending.

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