The Rubik’s Cube is probably the original puzzle game. I guarantee you that at one point in your life you have tangled with this conundrum of confusion trying to prove that you are in fact, smarter than a plastic cube. What amazes me more than anything is that it has taken this long for a game company to capitalize on the idea and develop a game based around the idea. Rubik’s World for the Nintendo Wii is a combination of the classic past-time as well as a host of new ideas based around these timeless colored cubes. Of course if it was simply a matter of trying to solve the multi-colored enigma there wouldn’t be much reason to spend forty bucks on something you could probably find for ten, but developer Two Tribes has added a plethora of other modes to make this one of the more unique puzzle games currently on the system.
When you first enter the game you are treated to a monochrome layout with a few dabs of color here and there. The more you play, the more Cubies (what the game calls each colored cube) are added to your background. There are plenty of areas to waste time in here including the traditional Rubik’s Cube area, Create Mode, Guide, Switch, Fit and Deconstruct. As you can imagine the Rubik’s mode is simply a 3D interpretation of the classic cube for your solving pleasure. There is even a cool tutorial that shows the secrets behind solving it. Mostly it is there as a diversion and an obvious treat for the fans.
A lot of the modes here feel derived from other games, but with a colorful twist of course. For instance Guide Mode feels strikingly familiar to the Dreamcast classic Chu Chu Rocket. Here you have miniature Cubies that move around with simplistic intelligence and a few obstructions. You will need to selectively place arrows to guide them to the exit without losing any. Simple and surprisingly addictive, much like Sega’s aforementioned title. Deconstruct Mode feels a lot like Boom Blox with simpler mechanics and a less-than-impressive physics engine. Switch Mode works by solving different scenarios by switching one color of a set of blocks with another. You can literally solve them all by using every single block and figuring out each one’s pattern is addicting enough in itself.
In addition to all of the play modes Rubik’s World also offers some creation aspects that are great for the younger audiences. This spills over into one of the game modes called View. Here you are presented with a 2D image that you need to reconstruct using Cubies in a 3D space. The challenge arises when you realize that the object must be identical from all viewing angles, so while it may look perfectly fine one way a quick swivel of the camera shows you otherwise. The standard create mode is simplistic enough for just about any age and consists mostly of creating new objects for your game worlds. The music creator is a little more in-depth offering different notes on a virtual piano that can be combined to create entirely original themes that can be used within the main game. Neither of these creations modes changes the core mechanic, but it does offer a nice diversion from the standard puzzle-solving action.
Like I mentioned a lot of these modes feel derived from other games but that doesn’t make them any less enjoyable. Each one provides hours of entertainment and works surprisingly well using the Wii’s motion controls. Moving objects around takes some adjusting at first, but once you get the hang of it, it works better than most games on the system. The abundance of game types keeps things fresh even if some of them are simply cheap rip-offs of better games, you will be hard pressed to find a better compilation of varying game types in one package.
Visually the game is simple and slick. Menus are designed to be very user friendly and everything just seems to fit where it belongs. Until you get further into the game you will be presented with an abundance of white and gray, but in all fairness creating a game based around a six-colored cube leaves little to the imagination so the designers did a solid job of at least making it user-friendly. The music creator is the highlight of the sound design as it gives nearly limitless possibilities for those willing to invest some time into it. The effects are pretty standard fare as is the default music, but for a puzzle game it works.
Rubik’s World is a solid effort from a talented team of puzzle makers. The abundance of modes keeps things fresh while the creation modes are great for younger audiences just looking to jump in and have fun. The multi-player feels lacking and tacked on, but if you are digging into this one as a solo affair there is a lot to justify your purchase. Fans of puzzle games deserve to check out this quirky collection as it is likely to be overlooked in the flood of more prominent holiday titles.