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Gift Review - Rubik's Cube - Winning Moves/Dummond Park
It might not exactly be newest or trendiest game on the block, but the classic Rubik's Cube puzzle fits our gift criteria in several ways. It's intriguing, there's maths involved in the permutations and a clever bit of technology in the joint at the centre of the puzzle that enables the different faces to be rotated on various splits.
In the unlikely event there's anyone out there that hasn't come across the Rubik's Cube, each face of the cube is a different colour. The faces are divided into 9 squares each, and by rotating different segments of the cube, these squares can be distributed so each face is a mix of different colours. The challenge is to start with a scrambled cube and, as quickly as possible to get the faces back to having a single colour each. Getting one face organized is quite simple (though it's probably enough of a challenge for less puzzle-minded players). Getting all the faces unscrambled can be a nightmare.
There was a time when you couldn't sensibly recommend a Rubik's Cube as a present, because pretty well every household had one somewhere. These days many of them have been thrown out, are too battered to be usable, or have been cheated to death. (If all else fails, some have resorted to removing and repositioning the coloured stickers from the faces, which soon renders the puzzle unusable.) It's time for a new generation to discover the cube, and for older players to retrieve those fond memories and give the cube another try.
After the cube's huge success, all types of variants on puzzles like this came out, but like many a classic, you simply can't beat the true Rubik's Cube.
Gift category - bargain
Reviewed by Brian Clegg
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Last update 05 June 2007