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Rubik’s 360 was designed by the inventor of the famous Magic Cube, Ernõ Rubik, and released in 2009. Much different than its cubic predecessor, the Rubik’s 360 promised to deliver a completely new approach to puzzle solving. The design is very original indeed, unlike anything we ever saw from the Rubik’s company. But how does it stand with the current flood of new puzzles? Is it worth your time and money? Read on and find out.
The Rubik’s 360 has quite a unique mechanism. It is comprised of three transparent spheres, each moving independently from one another. The outer sphere is stationary in relation to the inner spheres. Also, you can only move the inner spheres by moving the outer one. Each of the inner spheres has a metal ball that acts as a counter-weight and makes the spheres rotate in the opposite direction. At the poles of the outer sphere you also see two knobs that rotate in order to open or close the entrances of the colored compartments. This helps to keep the balls in place while you try to get the remaining balls in the other compartments. The puzzle itself is nice to hold in your hands. It’s not very big either, with a diameter of about 11cm.
The goal of the Rubik’s 360 is very simple: There are six colored balls (white, blue, red, orange, green and yellow – the same colors of the original Magic Cube) and six compartments with the corresponding colors. You start by having all six balls at the center of the inner most sphere. The goal is to get each ball to the compartment of the same color in the outer sphere.
Getting the balls to where you want them is no walk in the park, though. It involves a good amount of dexterity… Actually, more dexterity than I would like. Prepare to some frustrating moments, because you’re going to need a lot of patience and practice to solve this the first time.
As I said above, the two inner spheres move by getting the counter-weights in the desired positions. The inner most sphere has one hole and the middle one has two holes. Aligning the holes of the two spheres requires a lot of trial and error. Sometimes you’re so close to get one of the colored balls in the corresponding compartment, just to see it fall to the center in the next moment. I have solved this over two years ago, and it required more than one attempt. I remember it took a lot of practice, but I eventually did it.
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I found the Rubik’s 360 quite frustrating to attempt to solve it a second time. It’s fun at first, but the fun is quickly replaced by frustration. The one thing that patient players get is a great rewarding feeling when they finally solve it. You really feel like you accomplished something challenging. So, is it worth your time and money? – If you like a serious challenge, absolutely!
Availability: You can buy the Rubik's 360 at the Spanish puzzle store PuzzlesdeIngenio.com.