I’M going to preface this review by saying that I’m absolutely abysmal at solving Rubik’s Cubes – I’ve never really had the patience for solving them, and more often than not as a child resorted to ripping them apart and trying to piece them back together in their completed formation.
Despite my lack of experience with the art of the Rubik’ Cube, I’ve always had an interest in trying to learn how to solve one, which led me to the GoCube Edge, an app-enabled Rubik’s Cube that is not only a great cube for beginners, but also a fun challenge for cube solvers who want to compare themselves to those around the world.
In terms of design, the GoCube Edge, presents itself as a nifty little rounded-edged cube, packed with a built-in light that can be toggled at the press of the button via the GoCube app, which is required to get the most out of the cube. The GoCube Edge also comes with a USB charger, a charging stand that can also hold your phone upright while you solve, as well as a stylish travel pouch to store your cube.
Once you’ve paired the cube to your phone via the app you’ll have various different game modes to tinker with. If you’re new to the world of Rubik’s Cubes or need a bit of refresher, the GoCube Academy serves as a great place to start.
Each level in the academy teaches you important lessons on how to solve the cube, introducing and explaining crucial elements such as the notation and algorithms required to efficiently solve the cube. The lessons are masterfully well done and explain perfectly how to do things, before taking off the training wheels and letting you figure things out on your own. As someone who had no idea how to solve a Rubik’s Cube prior to the GoCube Academy, I was pleasantly surprised by what I picked up through each lesson.
Completing the GoCube Academy shouldn’t take much longer than an hour, and by the end of it you will have successfully learnt how to complete a Rubik’s Cube. You also get an in-game degree stating that you are the Cube Master, which you can share on Facebook if you’re so inclined.
If you’ve got the fundamentals down, then the modes present in the “Matches” tab may be more up your alley. Solo tasks you with solving the cube against a timer, while the remaining four modes, Pro Cuber, Scrambling, Challenge, and Rescramble are game modes that see you compete with an opponent online in real-time. I’m still not at the level of familiarity with the cube where I feel comfortable versing people online, but I can more than hold my own in a game of scramble, which requires you to complete various notation moves as fast as possible.
Alongside the solving and scrambling modes are a half dozen mini-games that utilise the cube in unique and wacky ways. Cubeysizer is a bizarre but entertaining mode where you use notation sequences as sheet music to play songs such as Happy Birthday and Mary Had A Little Lamb with various instruments such as a Piano and Guitar. It quickly gets tiresome but there was no way I was going to stop until I could nail a few songs.
Cube Hero is a Guitar Hero clone where you rotate the cube to hit incoming notes, Patterns provides you with notations to deck your cube out with cool patterns, and Simon Cube requires you to repeat an ever growing notation sequence. Paint It is another mini-game that requires you to match the face of the cube to the painting on screen, while Maze makes use of the gyro motion of the cube, requiring you to lead a ball across a maze situated on your cube within the app. The faster you get to the finish line, the more likely you are to three star the level.
While some modes like Cubeysizer and Patterns can quickly become boring, the others do a great job of providing some worthwhile additional content to what is already a content-heavy experience.
My experience with the GoCube Edge was undoubtedly a positive one, but I did also have my couple of issues with the device. Firstly, the cube often found itself in need of reorienting as the tracking in accordance to how I was holding was a tad off. It’s an issue that can be fixed in mere seconds by reorienting, but it was annoying nonetheless. I also encountered a few bugs within the application, which sometimes required a reset.
In the end, the GoCube Edge, proves itself to be a worthwhile and enjoyable gadget for both Rubik’s Cube novices and veterans alike. It’s short and digestible tutorials make the process of learning cube notation and algorithms an absolute breeze, and its assortment of fun mini-games offer up silly yet surprisingly engaging experiences that more often than not allow you to further build up your cube solving abilities. There are also plenty of stats available to research as well as leaderboards to climb, so you’ll never feel short of inspiration to improve. For those with a little more experience, the core online modes provide an addictive challenge that not only feel rewarding, but also improve your skills, while the Quick Timer solving mode is always a fun way to challenge yourself for a PB.
Whether you want to get into solving Rubik’s cubes yourself, or you see it as a fun and educational toy fit for someone else in your life, the GoCube Edge is hard not to recommend.
This review utilised a GoCube Edge provided by Rocket Comms.