Rubik's Selection
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| Rubik's Selection

Ernő Rubik has probably reached that stage in his impressive life where he dreads having to talk about his Cube puzzle. As an architect and professor and inventor of more games than Santa's elves, his life is depressingly epitomised by a 3x3 coloured box.

But the fame of that mind-bendingly entertaining Cube means that whenever we see his name attached to a game, we expect some form of ingenious spatial manipulation puzzle. And the fact that Disney Mobile Studios qualified Ernő's name with the word 'Selection' means that in this mobile game, we expect several of these inventive physical conundrums.

Unfortunately, with expectations so high, Rubik's Selection doesn't really leap off the screen once you start playing – and the 'selection' is only between two games. I'd call that more of a choice than a selection.

Of the two games in the limited 'selection', Rubik's Bloxx Twister is probably the most 'Rubik'. That is, you're swapping coloured squares around to make matching rows, and as much as it might irritate the reclusive architect, this is the kind of puzzling we tend to associate with his name. The second game, Rubik's Numbolution, struggles to comfortably fit into the puzzle genre, never mind the imaginary Rubik's sub-category.

Anyway, Bloxx Twister is a very literal cross between Bejeweled and Tetris (you know, I don't recall the last time I wrote about a puzzle game without mentioning Bejeweled. Just saying). The pile of jumbled, different coloured squares grows from the bottom of screen, and it's your job to stop them reaching the top. Doing this is quite simple, though in practice it can get pretty frantic.

A cursor highlights two squares (side by side, horizontally) and clicking them swaps them around. Create a line of three similar coloured squares and they disappear. Very recognisable in its gameplay mechanics, though the real challenge - and an unhealthy dose of frustration - comes from one small facet of its operation. You can only swap tiles horizontally, and although vertical lines still count, this restriction makes it surprisingly difficult to manage the pile. Unfortunately, this feels like a glaring omission, rather than a clever stipulation, and Rubik's Bloxx Twister is poorer for it.

Numbolution also drops a pile of squares onto the bottom of the screen, although this time they're numbered (hence the title). A figure is given to you upon each move, and your job is to highlight a correct selection of squares that add up to the desired number. Say you're given 8 as a target, highlighting a 4, a 2 and two 1's eliminates those squares from the pile. A clear screen, and it's onto the next, slightly harder, round.

The value of the individual squares begins to vary as the game progresses. They soon contain negative numbers, for instance, so that you're also subtracting to meet the target figure. Different coloured blocks and as many combinations as possible make for greater bonuses, so long as you clear the screen before the aggravatingly veiled time limit is reached.

Perhaps if you know Ernő, you could say with some certainty whether Numbolution is his kind of game or not, but from the outside this seems to have little to do with the connotations that – like it or not, Disney – come with Rubik's name. It also has that awful aftertaste of an educational game, which is in disagreeable contrast to the other title in the 'selection'.

Alone, neither of these games would be particularly good unless they were on the cheapest of budget labels, but together they are slightly stronger. However, it's difficult to recommend buying the Rubik's Selection on the strength of either game.

Rubik's Selection

Not much of a selection, being as it only contains two games, and only one of those is much fun. But if you're looking for a couple of easy-to-forget puzzlers, Rubik's Selection isn't the worst game you could buy
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