BrettSpiel is a blog about board game design, written by game designer Brett J. Gilbert.

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Rubik’s 360: It’s No Cube

I recall the quite phenomenal success of the original Rubik’s Cube way back in the good ol’ 1980s, and as a toy and as a genuinely classic piece of design it lives on, and doubtless will do for years, if not centuries.

I’m afraid history will likely be rather less kind to the Rubik’s 360, which is not very much more than a cunningly designed child’s rattle. Six coloured balls are imprisoned within three concentric, transparent spheres. The central sphere has one hole, the middle two, and the outer six coloured cups into which the balls must be manoeuvred. By tilting and turning the device the aim is to put the right balls in the right cups, but the two inner spheres spin on offset axes and are weighted in a way that means the balls, the holes and the cups do not straightforwardly line up.

Now, that might sound like fun to you, and as an object the Rubik’s 360 is certainly intriguing, but as a puzzle (and it is only barely a puzzle), or even simply as a dexterity challenge, it’s not much fun. I have succeeded, after a few hours fiddling, in getting the six coloured balls into the six coloured cups, and I can report that I feel absolutely no sense of accomplishment whatsoever.

So if I were you I’d save your pennies, or simply go out and buy a brand new Cube.

Some people love the challenge of solving the Rubik's 360 again and again, solving it quicker everytime.
As ancestor of the Rubik's cube, 20 years on its got a lot to live up to with the legacy of its predecessor - maybe in 20 years time our kids will be lauding it, with its unique design and moving parts??! I dont know, but buy it and see for yourself!

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