Actually, dealing with the cube is a learn-as-you-go experience.
The appeal of the cube, which makes it superior to Soma, or "Instant
Insanity", etc, is that you actually have to analyze what's going on
in order to approach the solution. For example, I began by learning
how to put one face right; this required certain simple transformations
that were useful later. As you go, you develop your own heuristics
for moving the faces you need around without messing up what you've
done so far. I can do the whole thing from an arbitrary starting
position in around 20 minutes; I'm still not very adept at moving
Even after you have solved it, there are still things to do
with the cube, including improving your personal algorithm, as well
as creating nifty patterns, etc. A Worthy Toy.
According to "Games & Puzzles" magazine, Rubik is the Hungarian
fellow that devised this evil little time-stealer. The
article also impies a 2x2 version is in the works, which is even harder
to understand mechanically than the 3x3 version.
How the heck IS the thing put together, anyhow?