For the past several years, I’ve been obsessed with a certain toy that many of you are sure to be familiar with, the Rubik’s Cube. This gadget has intrigued millions of people across the world over several generations since its invention in 1974, and with almost 400 million units sold, it’s arguably the most popular toy in the world. This puzzle can be quite a challenge and many people quit trying to fix it after a few minutes, but when solved, the achievement is quite rewarding.
I was first exposed to the Rubik’s Cube as a toddler, but like any wee kid, I would put everything in my mouth, so it got thrown away. It wasn’t until I was in junior high that I began to regain interest in twisty puzzles like the Rubik’s Cube and similar variants of itself that I’d seen online. I bought one and with the help of a tutorial online, I managed to learn how to solve it in under a minute and began to look for another challenge.
Not many people realize that the Rubik’s Cube has several different variants that have been created since the original; some puzzles have fewer “squares” and some have more (the original is a 3x3x3; the largest ever created is the 33x33x33!), some are “shapeshifters”, some have gears, some have magnets, some aren’t cubes at all! There are pyramids, cylinders, spheres, diamonds, and even complex shapes like the dodecahedron.
Once I discovered these other puzzles, I bought and learned how to solve one after another, expanding my collection of these twisty contraptions. I currently have about 30 different puzzles, which might seem a little crazy, but when compared to other puzzle enthusiasts’ collections of over 200 puzzles, mine is quite pathetic. There’s just something about the creativity that goes into creating these masterpieces and then trying to figure out how to solve them amid the bewilderment of seeing such crazy designs. Maybe you know how to solve the Rubik’s Cube and would like another challenge, or maybe you’ve never done it before and would like to give it another try, but either way, I encourage you to at least give these puzzles a chance and you might find the same satisfaction in them as I do.