While living in Mexico for two years I found myself riding the bus a lot between Nayarit and Guadalajara. Bus rides were usually about six hours long and I got bored with the tequila fields after about two.
Rubiks to the Rescue!
One of my friends that was with me in Mexico had a Rubik's Cube that he always was playing with and I begged him to teach me. Several bus rides later I finally got the hang of it and now I am teaching others how to solve this little bugger.
The Rubik's Cube is a colorful puzzle that you can take nearly anywhere, it doesn't make any noise, and it doesn't fall apart. The cube is formed by plastic central rods and smaller cubes that allow the puzzle to turn and twist at your will. The outside of the cube is covered with colorful square stickers that mark each side of the cube. When solved each side has its own color: red, green, white, blue, yellow, or orange.
Once your puzzle has been mixed up, your job is to return it to its solved state. This is easier said than done. When I first tried to solve the Rubik's Cube it seemed that with every move I made all I did was destroy what I had just accomplished. I used to pride myself of being able to solve just one of the six sides, now I can show off by completing the cube in about two minutes.
This can be one nasty little puzzle at first. The main key here is patience and learning to perform small moves one at a time to reach your final goal. Some may regard the Rubik's Cube as a toy, but it is much more than that. It takes a steady hand, a sharp eye, and a lot of patience to solve this thing. And unless you are a mathematician of sorts, you probably will have to read an instruction booklet or have someone show you how to solve it if you want to finish it during this lifetime.
There is no way I could explain how to solve the cube in this review, but I can give you some hints. Take your time and learn each step one by one. Read the booklet. Practice solving the cube to a certain step, then stop, jumble it up, and practice it again until you can do it without trouble. Look for patterns, they really do exist.
One problem that I have had with my cube is that after time the stickers may begin to fall off. If you still have the sticker, you can just superglue it back on. If not just find another sticker that is the same color and stick it on, it will give your cube added character.
If you are two hours into that boring conference and you still haven't got the hang of it, don't worry, just remember that Rome wasn't built in a day. Have fun with your cube, take it with you to the Doctor's Office, take it to your kid's "2nd Grade Food Pageant" You will find all sorts of place to take your cube.
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Amount Paid (US$): 9.82
Type of Toy: Puzzle
Age Range of Child: Whole Family