Forget boring trial and error, GoCube will teach you to solve a Rubik’s cube in style.
Have you ever stared in awe when someone solved a Rubik’s Cube? What about when they solved one in under a minute? Since a young child, I have always revered the masters of the 3×3, the 2×2, and the 4×4 cubes. I may never get close to the 3.47-second record set in 2020 by Yusheng Du (https://www.rubiks.com/en-us/speed-cubing), but I resolved that I would be able to solve the cube. To attack this quest, I turned to the little leaflet that was included with the Rubik’s Cube. I memorized each move set and learned how the pieces moved. After about a month of learning, moving, and practicing, I was able to solve the top, then first, then second rows, without much effort. Although it was not fast, it became easier with practice. Even to this day, I struggle with the lower cross and lower corners. At least, until I was able to learn/play with the GoCube App and Cube.
The Particula Go Cube arrived in its own 4 1/2 inches long by 4 1/2 inches wide by 4 1/2 inches tall outer cube. The main panel of the surrounding white slipcover displayed the “GO Cube” name, but used a colorful cube image in lieu of the letter “O.” Turning the packaging counterclockwise, I found a large multi-colored image of the GoCube. The lime green, the bright yellow, the vibrant red, and the soul-filled blue colors starkly contrasted against the pristine white background. The opposing side panel provided an oblique view of the cube, which wrapped around to the back panel. Along the bottom of the panel, the company included six icons, which detailed the features of the “Smart & Connected” cube: Smart Sensors 6-Axis, BLE 5.8 10m, Orientation Full 3D, LowPower 60 Hr, Lightning System Very Cool, Magnetic x 48. Turning to the back panel, I was pleased to find a small paragraph detailing the updated “modern super-puzzle with brains,” and mobile app. Paired with the educational app, the smart sensors help to “track your moves, guides you through how to solve the cube, brings new mini-games and challenges for practice, collects your statistics, and even lets you interact and compete with friends in online battles.” The beauty of this product is that it is perfect for cube solvers of all ability levels; it does not matter if you are a beginner or an expert, “GoCube’s got your back.”
I removed the outer slipcover and set it aside. The internal black cube had the Particula name along the top, the Go Cube name, and Full Pack along the front, and left the side/back panels blank. The lower panel provided several product manufacturing labels, an SKU barcode, and the manufacturing/trademark information. Opening the cube like a book, the 4.4oz GoCube was prominently displayed within a cardboard cutout. Within the left side of the box, the company provided a 5 inches wide by 5 1/4 inches tall black, felt, drawstring bag and an accessory box. Within the box, you will find a 2 15/16 inches diameter white base (with cable management), a clear plastic 2 9/16 inches wide by 2 9/16 inches tall by 7/8 inches thick cube holder, a 34 inches long USB charging cable, and an instruction manual. To start the process, install the clear plastic stand into the lower base until you hear a click. Plug the charger into a standard USB-A outlet and then insert the cube into the stand so that the “Go” icon (white side) is facing outward. You will notice that this placed the yellow surface towards the back of the stand and that this orientation allowed the charger to access the four charging holes. This design was well thought out. Since the charger had two prongs and the cube had four ports, you could orient the cube with any of the other sides facing upward and could still charge the device. With the cube charged, the GoCube 4.5* App downloaded from the iOS App Store, I turned to product testing.
Once you open the GoCube App, you will need to choose between English and German, and then will need to allow Bluetooth connectivity. The app will then give you the option to login without a cube, or you can connect to a nearby cube. I selected the nearby cube and was taken to a GoCube Sign-In Panel. You can choose to sign up via Facebook, Sign In With Apple, or you can add a user name, email, and password of your choosing. I chose to Sign In with Apple, selected the option, clicked continue along the bottom, and activated my account. The App then provided a Welcome screen, demonstrated a spinning cube, and had a blue “Sync Display” button along the bottom. Following the App instructions could not have been easier. As an example, the App requested that you place the green face towards you and the white “Go” image upward. When complete, simply tap the blue icon along the bottom of the panel to proceed to the next step. I was quite impressed with the sturdy connection; as you rotate the cube, and as you turn the front/back/side pieces, the image on the App changed accordingly. If the colors do not align properly, the App will take you to a Sync Cube Colors screen. You will need to select your desired color along the bottom and then fill in all of the sides of the cube. When complete, you will get to choose between “Just Getting Started,” “I’m Pretty Good,” and “I’m a Pro Cuber.” For the review, I chose “Just Getting Started” from the options and was taken to a Welcome Start Academy page, which will teach you the basics of the cube, the color/piece layouts, how the pieces move, how to spin forward, how to spin backward, and discussed the algorithms. Basically, as you walk through each step of the lessons, you learn about cube notation and how to solve the device. Like me, if you desired to learn to solve the cube, minutes spent in the learning section will pay off big dividends later. After a few educational sessions, the App will ask if you want to learn more or if you want to compete. Boy, was I ready.
The very first competition was a scrambling contest followed by my very first match win. I was impressed with the fluidity of the Cube, during movement, and with the click-feel, when the pieces moved into position. The App will pair you with similarly competent individuals and will then direct you through a series of steps to return the cube to its solved configuration. After numerous wins, I navigated back to the main screen of the app and found buttons for Quick Timer, Solver, Stats, RedBull Rubiks. Along the bottom, you will find five icons. 1. A trophy icon, which will take you to the leaderboards. 2. A glove icon, which will take you to Matches (Solo, Pro Cuber, Scrambling, Challenge). 3. My Cube (main screen). 4. A game controller icon, which will allow you to play the Cubeysizer, Paint It, Simon, cube Hero, Maze, Patterns. 5, A Mortar Board icon, which will teach you more about the cube (White cross/daisy, white face, left-hand algorithm, middle row, yellow cross, bottom edges, bottom corners). I believe the hardest part of this game was learning their way to solve the cube because I had to unlearn/forget some of the old methods that I had previously learned. I loved that there was a cube battery indicator along the top right of the screen and that you could easily reorient the cube if the app/cube did not align properly. Even after playing for several days, I was not ready for the Challenge mode. I was able to win once every five to six matches but it will take a lot of practice to hold my own.
Although frustrating at times, the more I played, the more I learned, and the better I got. This will not be a typical play a few rounds and then get bored type of game. Instead, you will want to play again and again. For those interested in solving the cube, you can play a few minutes here and there and continue to enhance your abilities/speed. When you get bored with the main App, turn to the games for some added enjoyment. Solve a maze, play Simon, or perhaps make the cube look like the App picture. Either way, the App/device is well worth the purchase price. Lastly, if you are afraid to pick up the GoCube for fear that it is not robust, let me allay your fears. While I was putting my oldest kids to bed, boys ages eleven years old and nine years old, my daughters were playing in the kitchen, girls ages five years old and nineteen months old. My nineteen months old daughter climbed up onto our chair and swatted the Cube onto the hardwood floor. The GoCube survived without even a scratch upon its surface. The cube, unlike many of the commercial options on the market, was designed for speed. The mechanisms were fluid, but not sloppy, and the cube stayed in the position that I wanted. With the included carry bag, you can add this to your backpack, to your luggage, or a carryon bag. If you run out of power in the cube, you can still use the GoCube sans App connection. As noted in the introduction, with the Particula GoCube on the market, nobody can say that the Rubik’s Cube is too hard for them to solve. With a little bit of time and a little bit of game time, you too can get into the action.