|System: DS, Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Two Tribes||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: The Game Factory||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 27, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Nathan Meunier
For many, the brightly colored Rubiks Cube is an instantly recognizable piece of late 70s and 80s pop culture. Some call it a demon block; others call it a good way to spend an afternoon.
The little cubic device with twisting and turning parts is believed to be the best-selling toy worldwide. With such a large install base and such wide recognition, it makes sense for a publisher to cash-in with a video game based heavily around the original puzzle block. The cube can be incredibly challenging to solve, if you dont possess the key to the puzzle. Rubiks World offers a little more diversity and slightly less frustration.
Developed by Two Tribes, Rubiks World is a mini-game collection that thematically blends a handful of different puzzle elements together under the Rubiks Cube umbrella. Loosely set in the curious land of the Cubies (personified versions of the little individual blocks that make up the large cube), the game gives a subtle nod to the blocky inhabitants of Tetris Worlds albeit in a less compelling way. Youll interact with the blocky creatures (which are really just blocks) in numerous mini-games offering varying levels of complexity and depth. The collection apes some concepts from other puzzlers and throws in a few random, hit-or-miss distractions that dont really fit in very well, but theres some addiction-forming potential here.
Though the collection touts having eight different mini-games, several arent really games at all. Take out these toy-like distractions, and the initially robust appearance of this package starts to lose some of its luster. Two of the other activities perhaps the most engaging in the bunch are basically the same game with slightly different rules and minor tweaks in presentation. Several of the other games are decent but not amazing takes on existing games. That said, the challenges and substantive gameplay to be found here should be enough to keep players busy for some time.
No gaming package based on the Rubiks Cube would be complete without the original puzzle toy itself. Fortunately, Two Tribes recognized this and made sure to include it in the collection. The angle of the 3D cube can be manipulated with the stylus to peek at it from every direction, while twisting a row or column is done easily with a quick flick. In fact, all the games are manipulated with simple touch controls. The cube comes in three different sizes 2x2, 3x3, and 4x4 grids to bend your brain around. Additionally, another play mode starts you out with a solved cube and asks you to deconstruct it to match different color pattern assignments. Overall, its an excellent and faithful virtual representation and implementation of the classic toy.
Getting back to the other highlights of the collection, Roll tasks you with guiding a Cubie through an isometric, 3D obstacle course populated with other dangerous, death-dealing Cubies. Ok, its not quite as menacing as it sounds, but touching any other moving blocks during your trek down, around, and through each level dishes out an instant game over. Each level is presented on the top screen, and your cube is controlled by tapping one of four directional arrows on the lower screen. Once you set it in motion, the cube will roll until it hits another object. You cant change its direction until it stops. The increasingly tricky level designs challenge you to get creative in finding ways to get your block to stop at the right locations in order to proceed to the target square.
Another similar mode, Color, works in much the same way. However, you can select different cubes laid out around the course and change the color of each of their sides individually. When you get them rolling, theyll stick to tiles of similar color they come in contact with, providing platforms for you to roll your Cubie along to the finish line. Both have several difficulty settings and many levels to travel through. They can get quite tough further along, and attempting to navigate the later levels provides some ample brain-straining fun. These two modes are among the more addictive in the bunch.