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- Make sure this fits by entering your model number.
- Challenge your thinking muscle with this classic brainteaser game
- Align 54 squares so that the colors match up on all 9 sides
- 43 quintillion possible combinations, but only 1 is correct
- For 1 or more players
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CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.
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Rubik's Cube Brain Teaser Puzzle with Helpful Hints
Even if you've been living on Mars since the 1970s, you've probably heard of Rubik's Cube, the bestselling puzzle in history. Just in case, though, here's a recap: it's a 3-by-3-by-3-inch cube with rotating faces made up of nine squares that can be scrambled into (so it's said) 43 quintillion combinations. Getting the cube back to its original position (so that all nine squares of the same color make up each face) is incredibly challenging for most, though it can be mastered and solved. For those not gifted with superhuman spatial intuition, this mindbender comes with a solution hints booklet, which examines the cube's properties and offers clues for solving the puzzle. Whether it's a difficult toy or retro '80s kitsch you're seeking, Rubik's Cube is for you. --Rob LightnerSee all Product description
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|Sold By||Shop Three Bees||D-FantiX||D-FantiX||Amazon.com||ROXENDA||Puzgic|
|Batteries are Included||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|Is Assembly Required||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|Item Weight||5.6 ounces||2.96 ounces||3.2 ounces||4 ounces||7.05 ounces||3.04 ounces|
|Material Type||—||ABS Material||ABS Material||—||—||—|
|Number of Pieces||1||1||1||1||2||1|
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Wish me luck on solving the cube!
The package insert says that there are billions of combinations and only one solution. In reality, there are a potentially unlimited number of solutions and quintillions of permutations. The exact number is a matter of interpretation, but in general terms, the idea is to end up with each face having a solid color.
As a game, the goal is to complete the process, often as quickly as possible. As a puzzle, the goal is to solve it (figure out how to achieve that) preferably in as few moves as possible. As a game, the player need not understand how to solve anything, but could merely learn a set of instructions that allow manipulating segments that are in a certain position and getting them to different positions and/or orientations. A player need not think about how the sequences accomplish that, only that they do.
Imitations of this product can be frustrating. The segments can bind, and stickers can peel off. On the other hand, some imitations can be purchased at a "dollar store" and have molded plastic colors that cannot peel off. This product has a solid feel, and rotates relatively smoothly. If your goal is to complete it as quickly as possible, that can be very important. Some players will sand segments or lubricate them to get the segments to rotate as quickly as possible, regardless of the effects on the life of the cube. As a puzzle, that should not be necessary, and the quality of the build can make this much more enjoyable than an imitation product.
The package claims to contain solution hints. There's nothing there that discusses strategy or even why you would want to complete things in the order given. Instead it takes the "follow me until the process is completed" approach. It makes it easy to learn how to complete the puzzle, but is a poor guide for learning how to solve it. The original cube came with no instructions, and the general view was that only a genius might be able to solve it, except perhaps by extremely improbable accident. I knew far too many people who tried to solve things one face at a time without regard to the relative positions of the colors on the other faces of the very pieces they were positioning. That view changed once a book was published showing that it was possible for an average person to complete it by following instructions. If you truly want to solve it on your own, keep in mind the relationship between each piece and the adjacent centers of each square, and why solving in layers could (but is not necessary in order to) lead to a solution.
Conceptually, the center segment of each side stays in the same relative place no matter how the cube is twisted. Thus the correct position of each piece depends on the color of the bordering two or three middle tiles. Since it is impossible to move one piece without moving others, the task involves moving pieces without disturbing others, disturbing their positions only temporarily, or simultaneously positioning them while positioning others or placing others in a position more amenable to repositioning. The "solution" in the booklet explains how to do this by completing the puzzle in layers. However, it is impossible to do it that way. If you complete the first layer, completing the second one involves undoing each corner piece on the top layer temporarily. Initially having them in the "wrong" position will not necessarily slow you down and may even speed you up.
Thus one is truly solving the first two layers simultaneously but with many extra moves if one uses the enclosed instructions. Likewise, to position pieces in the bottom layer (which becomes the top at this point) rather than telling you that the task is to move certain pieces out of the way temporarily, rotate something to put others in a certain position, move the original piece back and so forth, the instructions merely say that if you hold the cube with a certain visible pattern and follow a certain sequence of moves, you will end up with a new orientation and can move on to the next step. The final task of getting the corners into proper orientation is by far the hardest part to follow, but the easiest part to execute. It boils down to repeating a series of four turns continuously until a corner is facing the correct way, moving another corner to that position, and repeating the process until you are done. Trying to follow what is happening to the other segments during the process, and why and how they end up where you want them, is daunting. Yet you can pay no attention to that part whatsoever and the instructions even advise that. They tell you not to worry about where other pieces end up after completing the sequence for each corner but to take it on faith that things will all work out. It's all built on the "trust me" principle.
If you are into it as a game, this cube can help speed things up for you. But it's a bit like buying a $3000 bicycle to shave off a few ounces when you could afford to lose 25 pounds of body fat. It makes sense to get the bicycle if you are already in top form, and it makes sense to learn how to shave off moves, rather than making your fingers more nimble and solving things by rote using the included instructions.
If you are looking to solve this as a puzzle, it would make more sense to learn strategy and the instructions effectively give you none. If you execute the sequences in the instructions and try to map out in your mind (or on paper) what happened, why you needed to move certain pieces to certain places before turning others, where they end up relative to each other, which ones flip over, which ones end up in different relative places, and which ones end up back where they started while allowing others to end up in correct position, you might be able to figure out strategies on your own. You might want to work through sequences, see what you end up with, then walk through them backwards to see what caused things to happen. You should see that many of the turns are unnecessary given the pieces that will need moving in the near future, and intermingling sequences or changing the order could be a better strategy. For example, if the first two turns in a sequence place a piece next to another that remains next to it throughout the rest of the sequence, an extra twist or two ahead of time could cause pieces to align in the middle of a sequence, stay that way, and cut out a future sequence entirely. Or if it forces another piece (that's irrelevant to the current sequence) to end up where it will be simple to reposition with a subsequent sequence, it could save time. Sometimes, pieces unrelated to your immediate task will be in a good position relative to each other, and an extra twist in the middle of a sequence will keep them from being disturbed but not prevent that sequence from accomplishing its goal.
Thus, even with the "instructions" you will still need to solve it on your own but need not complete it on your own. When it was first introduced, it was a puzzle and you might enjoy it more if you treat it as one. Otherwise, it could be a nice alternative to a video game where the next level is always your goal.
As for the fun of the rubik's cube. If you don't already know, lets just say you have to give it a try. It is super hard the first time, but once you figure out the system it is easy and then people usually just try and solve it faster. A lot of fun all around.