I grew up in the Rubik’s Cube era. It was originally invented in 1974 by Ernő Rubik, but it was 1980 when the puzzle toy took the world by storm. I had a Rubik’s Cube. I got the Rubik’s Pyramid. I owned the Rubik’s Twist. Of course, I never could actually solve any of them…except the Rubik’s Twist. For 40 years—give or take—I would see a Rubik’s Cube and dabble with it for a while, but the solution always eluded me.
In 2019, I received a book as a gift that walked through how to solve the cube. Using the book, I was able to successfully solve the cube for the first time ever. However, I still had no clue how to solve the Rubik’s Cube. I knew how to follow instructions in a book, but I had not retained any of it. Then, I got the chance to play with a GoCube.
Here is my review of the GoCube and its officially licensed cousin the Rubik’s Connected:
The Rubik’s Connected is more of a classic look and feel. The cube has sharper edges and the colors on the sides are stickers. The GoCube has rounded corners and uses a stickerless design with the pieces that make up the cube being the actual colors.
Both devices are built on a magnetic speed cube mechanism for faster, smoother action. They also each come with a charging cable to recharge the cube.
The idea is simple enough. Take a scrambled cube and return it to a completed state where each side is comprised of just one color.
Both the GoCube and Rubik’s Connected take the puzzle toy to a new level, though, using sensors and an app. They have Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity and smart sensors to continuously track and measure your activity with 0.001 second tracking accuracy.
The two devices use separate apps, but the functionality is essentially the same. The app senses and displays the orientation of the cube in real-time. There are tutorials to teach you the algorithms you need to know to solve the cube, and mini games to help you hone your skills. You can take part in online battles, and track your progress and status on a leaderboard.
Prior to the GoCube, I had spent 40 years solving one side of a Rubik’s Cube at a time. Once or twice I accidentally completed two sides at once, but I had no clue how to go about solving the puzzle.
In one weekend with the GoCube—in less than 48 hours—I learned to solve the Rubik’s Cube consistently and reliably. Not just solve it but solve it under 5 minutes. With continued practice, I have gotten to the point that I can consistently complete the Rubik’s Cube in under 2 minutes. I am trying to break 1 minute, but my best time so far is 1 minute and 1 second.
The tutorials are amazing. The ability for the app to display the cube and show you in 3D how to turn and manipulate the cube to get to the next step is awesome. It will also let you know when you take a wrong turn and help walk you back to where you should be so you can pick up again and continue.
Both devices have exceptionally smooth mechanisms. I find that the GoCube moves more easily, which I generally prefer. But both are awesome.
This is easily the coolest thing I have reviewed in years. At $60 for the Rubik’s Connected and $80 for the GoCube Edge Full Pack (which includes some additional accessories), these may seem expensive compared to the fact that you can get a knock-off Rubik’s Cube for around $5. All I can say is, this is $60 (or $80) well spent if your goal is to actually learn to solve the cube and enjoy using it.
I absolutely, 1000% recommend both the GoCube and the Rubik’s Connected.
Side note: I don’t know if it has anything to do with training my brain for the cube using the GoCube and Rubik’s Connected apps, but I got a new Rubik’s Pyramid and figured out how to consistently solve that now as well.
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