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Rubik's World

Score: 80%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: The Game Factory
Developer: Two Tribes
Media: Cartridge/1
Players: 1, 2 (Multiplayer)
Genre: Puzzle/ Edutainment

Graphics & Sound:

The presentation in Rubik's World is very cute. The premise is that there are little cubes, or "Cubies," which make up a Rubik's Cube. These Cubies are born in cube formation with their siblings and, of course, the first game they learn is Rubik's Cube (the solving of it).

It is interesting to see the Cubies come to life and express some emotion, without cartoon-y personification; they have no faces, no limbs and they don't speak, but they fly around excitedly. Also, a lot of their emotion is gained via in-game text that tells you what they are thinking. Their world is a very cube-inspired environment that looks sort of castle-ish. This castle contruct also serves as part of the UI. When you move from one menu level to the next, you zoom into the castle. This is just sort of window dressing, but it's a neat interface.

The music in Rubik's World is fanciful, but has a very electronic sound, much like an electronic version of a music box. I find it soothing enough to listen while playing, but if you prefer to turn the music off, you won't miss anything needed to play the game, except for the music that you can make in the Compose game mode.

One interesting aspect of Rubik's World is that there are game modes for creating both graphics and music. These images and songs are then used elsewhere in the game. The interface is somewhat simplistic, and the resulting songs and artwork (created with Cubies) are, likewise, simplistic, but younger players may be tickled by the fact that their creations are actually used in the game.


Gameplay:

Rubik's World presents an interesting and fanciful view of the Rubik's Cube, by imagining a world where Rubik's Cubes are alive. Actually, according to the game's mythos, the living creatures are the individual cubes, or "cubies" that make up a Rubik's Cube. In this game, you get to interact with these cubies and help them not be so shy, by getting to know them through playing games with them.

Rubik's World presents eight single-player game modes that can be played, three of which can be played in multiplayer mode; using the DS' wireless feature, you can play Switch, Rubik's Cube or Fit with another player. The game modes available are: Fit, where you have to quickly arrange Cubies into a shape that will fit through a hole in a wall, Create, where you use Cubies to build versions of specific real-world objects, Color, where you solve rotation puzzles by painting Cubies' sides the appropriate colors, Roll, where you gain points by successfully guiding Cubies to exit points, Switch, which is basically a time-based color-matching game, Compose, which lets you create your own musical pieces, Calculate, which tests your skill at simple math and graphing - with successful plotting forming a picture, and, of course, Rubik's Cube, where you can solve a Rubik's Cube if you know how, learn how to solve a Rubik's Cube, if you don't know how, or take a solved Cube and "unsolve" it to match the indicated final state. For those interested in learning to solve a Rubik's Cube, this is pretty neat.


Difficulty:

The various game modes of Rubik's World each have their own prerequisite skills and, as such, each player will have to determine what game mode challenges them the most. However, the timed game modes, such as Switch and Fit, require you to act fast, so they share a raised level of difficulty.

While it is, by definition, a mental challenge to solve a Rubik's Cube, the game offers three versions of the cube: the original 3x3x3, an easier 2x2x2 and the devilish 4x4x4. When solving cubes, you turn the rows by setting your stylus on a cube and flicking the stylus in the direction you want the row to turn. Sadly, this is probably even more annoyingly difficult than it sounds, leading to a lot of mistaken rotations, which have to be undone before you can retry your original move. Solving a Rubik's Cube is difficult to do when you can hold it with both hands in front of you. In Rubik's World, it feels more like trying to solve a Rubik's Cube keychain with chopsticks. Luckily, with practice, it gets easier and there are fewer mistakes.

There are certain aspects of Rubik's World that don't truly have a scoring system, so your difficulty is determined by your own personal goals. For example, the game modes where you draw and compose merely ask that you do something; once you agree that you like what you've done, you proceed to the next thing. You're on the honor system, here.


Game Mechanics:

I found Rubik's World to be an interesting game. The various game modes are entertaining, and the natural way in which user-created content is included is neat and should prove entertaining to younger players.

The only annoying part in Rubik's World is trying to use the stylus to manipulate the Rubik's Cube in-game mode where you solve a cube. This gets easier as you get used to it, but there's a learning curve to be overcome.

All-in-all, Rubik's World is a fun game, and one I would recommend to anyone who is fascinated with Rubik's Cubes even a fraction as much as I am. It's not the best puzzle game you'll ever pick up, but it is fun and challenging.


-Geck0, GameVortex Communications
AKA Robert Perkins

Sony PlayStation 3 Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm Sony PlayStation 3 Resistance 2

 
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