See the picture above? No, it isn't a Rubik's Cube. For a start, it has a big V on the side, and it's made out of an four by four pattern. That is in fact a V-Cube, or to be more precise, a V-Cube 4. If you thought MEGA Bloks were an interesting twist on LEGO, so the range of V-Cubes are a fresh and innovative way to spin a plastic block around in your hands for hours. Let's take a look.
For the review we were sent a V-Cube 4 and a V-Cube 2, but there also exists a 3, 5, 6, 7 and 8. In the hand, V-Cubes have a rounded, bulbous feel, which is more comfortable to hold and play with than the traditional Rubik's Cube. Also, the coloured tiles are printed, not stickers, so sorry... no cheating with these things.
First up, the 2. As you might have guessed this was the easiest to complete of the two we were sent, and it serves as a great way to get younger kids into having a go. Twisting it was smooth and fluid, and the whole thing feels very robust. But, although there are only four coloured tiles to each of the six faces, it's still challenge - a challenge that took us an embarrassingly long time to crack, even as adults.
So imagine our nervousness at tackling the V-Cube 4. This felt more familiar, with the tiles being only very slightly smaller than those found on a Rubik's product. Again all the movements are very smooth and easy, and as the whole thing is slightly rounded it makes it easier to compress back into a cuboid form so as to spin the next row. And yes, it took us a bit of time to complete, but we're all pretty awful at puzzles.
What makes V-Cubes really stand out from the competition is the sheer choice of puzzle sizes. Being able to work your way up from the smaller cubes is a nice way to train your brain to solve these things quicker, as after a few successful a attempts it begins to feel like second nature.
V-Cubes also play fast and loose with the idea of traditional cube puzzles. The range also includes specially printed cubes to represent certain national flags, and also optical-illusion-like patterns. And, according to their website, you can even print your own with a picture of your choice. So yes, one day soon you could be quickly trying to correct a confused photo of your dog's face. Yay!
Great fun for all ages, with a lot of choice up for grabs. Check 'em out.