Rubik’s World is based off a simple enough concept: take an infinite amount of Rubik’s cubes and make an entire game based around them. What the game ends up being is an interesting and novel experience based around more than just matching colors on a block. While the concept sounds like it may not be able to be fleshed out to an entire game, there are a few addictive qualities that will keep this game in your DS. This isn’t to say that the game doesn’t suffer from poor learning curves of some puzzles or just an overall lacking responsiveness from the DS system itself.
The main problem that Rubik’s World faces is the overall simplicity of most of the games, and how many of them seem rather bland for the first several stages. While this is overcome with any amount of investment into the any of the game, it is still rather difficult to get hyped over a game that is little more than playing with graph paper, or designing what objects look like in the real world with square blocks. Although these games are entertaining when played for any real amount of time, they still boil down to very simple gameplay ideas.
This flaw isn’t helped by the fact that not all DS systems are amazingly responsive on the level that the game seems to believe it is capable of. The complete lack of a redo button makes longer puzzles frustrating because the game requires the user to be pixel perfect. Tapping each object with the touch screen requires way more accuracy than it should.
Rubik’s isn’t going to change anyone’s mind about the graphical prowess of the DS either. While the entire game is designed, for a reason, to look like a vast collection of blocks, this doesn’t mean that it will blows anyone’s mind. The graphics do manage to be charming and interesting, but most of the time they seem like something that could have easily been fulfilled with Gameboy Advance’s hardware.
While the game isn’t without its flaws, Rubik’s World does manage to be a rather compelling block based puzzle game. Although almost none of it has the classic six sided cubes with the nine blocks on each face, most of the puzzles do revolve around using blocks in one way or another. Two of the more enjoyable ones simply have the player sending cubes down paths without having them fall off the sides of the platform or running into “enemy” cubes. While this type of puzzle is by no means ground breaking it does manage to be a nice, self contained, short event.
Most of the puzzles range from the aforementioned block rolling puzzle to finding coordinates on a grid and marking them to make more and more elaborate shapes. While the rolling puzzles are more of the meat of the game, there are more non-game type events than anything else. Most of these include designing what objects look like in the “real” world, but doing so with colored blocks. While this is by no means the core of the game, it is a nice diversion from throwing the DS across the room from some of the harder timing based puzzles.
Aside from the interesting section where the cubes can be taught a song, the music of the game is rather forgettable. While probably not the best thing in the world to brag about, it does seem to be mellow enough to not annoy the player during any of the harder challenges of the game. While the teaching the cubes music section of the game does come off a little “throw everything against the wall and see what sticks” , it should be pointed out that the overall design of the game pretty much seems to work through the entire course of the experience.
Although the game’s tutorials are almost always less than what should really be given, the first several levels of each puzzle are almost always easy enough to pick up the basic idea of what is going to be expected during the later levels. The only problem is that several times during the course of puzzle progression, the difficulty will suddenly seem to ramp up. While this isn’t uncommon with most puzzle games, and normally serves as just another layer of learning for the puzzles, it might be enough to make the more casual player simply put down the entire experience.
Rubik’s World is probably one of the only games to come out last year with vastly different game types that almost never connect to the greater whole and still managed to be very playable. At the lower 20 dollar price point, it does put it in direct competition with better, more well known puzzle games, namely Brain Age. This probably shouldn’t stop anyone obsessed with interesting puzzles from buying it. While Rubik’s World shouldn’t be on the top of anyone’s puzzle game list, it should still probably be somewhere on it. With interesting puzzles and vastly different events to jump into at any given moment, Rubik’s World manages to be an easy recommendation for the person looking for another DS puzzle game.