App integrated cube will teach you to solve the classic children’s puzzle.

As a child of the early 80s, I grew up like many of the Xennials.  We played outside, played with physical toys, games, and puzzles, and lacked modern smartphones and tech.  Around the age of ten, I received a little cube puzzle and immediately wanted to learn to solve it.  The perfectionist in me did not even want to mess it up.  Alas, someone got to it, mixed it up, and I knew that I had to learn to solve the puzzle.  I toiled, played, learned, memorized, and even thought about removing the stickers. I perused the included instruction manual and found books/magazines on the subject. However, I lacked the assistance of YouTube and the modern internet. As Apps and App interactive toys advance, I sometimes wish that I were a kid again.

The HEYKUBE device arrived in a 4 1/8 inches square by 4 1/4 inches tall black cardboard box.  The colorful top panel provided a slightly raised white font “HEYKUBE” with red accents surrounding the font.  This design provided a nostalgic puffy paint feel.  Just above the HEYKUBE name, you will find a blue letter H, a yellow letter E, and a red letter Y arranged in a 3-D cube shape.  The front face of the lid provided the same information as the top panel but also provided a white font “THIS CUBE IS LIT,” with a surrounding red accent. The posterior panel of the black like listed “unbox and share at #heykube.”  The lower box had a large QR code (Scan for Video Guide), while the side and back panels were left blank. Finally, the bottom panel provided the company address, a small amount about the Google Play/IOS App stores, product manufacturing labels, an SKU code, and a few other small nuggets of information about the product.  

I removed the slanted lid and immediately found a red, orange, green, yellow, white, and blue-colored cube within a clear plastic cradle.  I lifted the cube out of the box and noticed an “L”-shaped charger attached to the yellow/orange faces of the cube.  The charger was easily removed from the main cube.  The yellow section had a 5/8 inches square yellow sticker with surrounding black plastic.  Similarly, the orange section had a 5/8 inches square orange sticker with surrounding black plastic.  On the face opposite the stickers, you will find a single pin that fits into the central hole of the appropriately colored faces and corner pegs to orient the charger.  Along the lower face of the orange charging cable, you will find the USB-micro input port.  Returning to the box, I found a sixteen-panel instruction manual in front of the HEYKUBE, and a 27 inches long USB-A to micro cable beneath the clear pedestal. Before messing up the cube, I plugged the USB-micro port into the cube and the USB-A end into a standard USB-A Hub.  The HEYKUBE played a cute little jingle, and the central white square LED spun in the shape of a “C” to indicate the charging status.  

The instruction manual was outlined into a white front section and a black back section.  Starting with the back section, the manual detailed how to rotate the cube faces clockwise/counterclockwise, the cube notation (U=white, L=orange, F=green, D=yellow, R=red, B=blue), and when to turn clockwise (no apostrophe) versus counterclockwise (apostrophe), and a Quick Guide to HEYKUBE notation (Pattern Mode=F’ F’ U’ U’ U U F F, Repeat Pattern F’ F’ U U U’ U’ F F, Hints On/Off= F F U U U’ U’ F’ F,’ and Reset UUUU LLLL FFFF RRRR BBBB DDDD). Lastly, you will find a quick demo QR code.  Turning to the opposite side, the first two white pages detailed the basics (scramble and follow the lights to solve the cube), the six faces (cubies), and three ways to play.  1. Simple Solve: 14 quarter turns or less, and HEYKUBE will reverse the moves back to solved. 2. Learn to solve.  Turn more than 14 times, and the 7 step solver is activated.  The app will guide you through the solution process.  3. Pattern Solve:  16 preprogrammed patterns accessible through a preprogrammed set of cube turns.  Next, the instruction manual showed the basics to solve the stages of the cube and detailed the turn combination sequence for the patterns/hints on-off.  The final two panels discussed the resync/reset techniques, how to charge the cube, program the HEYKUBE with a Raspberry Pi, and download the App.  

Overall, I was pleased with the packaging, with the instruction manual and with the  HEYKUBE device.  I liked the layout of the instructions and the concise step-by-step process.  I navigated to the IOS App Store, downloaded the 5* (2 reviews) HEYKUBE App and opened it.  The App started with a colorful Tutorial section with Basics, Notations, Patterns, Hints On/Off, Simple Solve, and Learn to Solve.  If you tap one of the selections, the App will display a handy instructional video, each lasting from fifty seconds to a few minutes. If you tap the “Learn to Solve” option, you will be given an additional eight options: Basics, and Stage One through Stage Seven.  Each of the videos will teach how to solve different aspects/layers of the cube.  When done watching the tutorials, the App asked that I either sign in or sign up for the App. I selected the green-colored “SIGN UP” option along the bottom of the App.   I entered my first name, last name, email, password, confirmation password and then tapped the blue SIGN UP button.  The App then asked to either Connect a HEYKUBE or to purchase one of the $99.99 devices. I tapped the “Connect HEYKUBE” option and followed the instructions to “move HEYKUBE to wake it up and connect.”  I then tapped the “HEYKUBE-C266” option that appeared at the top of the screen.  After an ascending/descending tone, the device was connected.  The pairing and setup process proved to be quite intuitive and took only a few minutes.

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Curious, I navigated to challenges first and tried friendly. The App activated the cube, and the spinning light on each surface indicated which direction to turn the given face.  Once the app was happy with the mix-up, it started a timer for you to complete the challenge.  I was able to solve the top and the next two rows quickly but became stuck at the bottom row and face.  I tapped the hints option along the top right and it activated the spinning suggestions on the cube.  The cube walked me through the remaining steps and re-solved the cube.  Once the cube was solved again, the cube played a fun little jingle.  I returned to the main screen, tapped patterns, and followed the lights to generate a checkerboard pattern.  The cube played another little jingle, while the app congratulated me on my accomplishment.  I followed the lights backward, and the same “solved” jingle was played. Learn to solve the checkerboard, sixspots, cubeincube, anaconda, Tetris, Dontcrossline, Greenmamba, Spiralpattern, python, kilt, Cubeincubeincube, orderinchaos, plusminus, Displacedmotif, cuaround, and vertical stripes.  

If you turn the cube more than 14 times, it will enter the “solve it” mode and will walk you through the steps to return it to normal.  If you turn less than 14 times, the lights will teach you to walk the steps backward to return to the solved cube state.  Learn the special pattern solve techniques, mess up the cube, follow the seven-step solve process, or follow the simple solve techniques.  No matter if you are a new-to-cuber or a seasoned-cuber, the HEYKUBE device will test your limits and add insight to your puzzle solutions. If you tap the leaderboard option, you can see the Daily Challenge, Friendly challenge, and World Record Challenge information. Each panel will display the average solved time, average move to solve, total time on HeyCube, and the Total Number of solves. As you improve, you can compare your attempts/successes against previous runs. I loved the easy pairing, the spinning lights, the jingles, and the easy instructional videos.  The simple-to-use App paired perfectly with the HEYKUBE device and proved a happy marriage between analog and digital technology.  You can use the device sans App for a traditional Rubik cube experience or pair the device and enjoy a modern take on the traditional game. 

Learn more about the HEYKUBE device.
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