Cube3 by Steven Brundage - my review
What you get: A ShengShou Aurora puzzle cube in a cute
black box, along with a thin wafer-style USB stick containing 2 MP4 videos and 2 PDF files. The
cube handles great, and is smooth and quiet although if you don't already own another cube, I
suggest you purchase one (about $5 to $7) so you have a solved cube for the tricks, and an unsolved
one for learning algorithms.
Videos: The first 1.5 hour video covers solving the cube for a
complete beginner, using the CFOP Method (Fridrich method). Unlike YouTube shaky-cam videos where
other people teach this, Steven's instruction is top-notch, crystal clear and shot in HD.
Production quality, music, backgrounds, editing is pure Hollywood. His likeable personality shines
through the camera, and you'll be able to solve a cube from zero knowledge in a few hours.
The second MP4 teaches the 6 tricks you see not only in the trailer, but also on Penn and Teller
"Fool Us" show where Steven appeared (yes, he fooled them). Two interesting videos to watch are
(YouTube search: "steven brundage speeding ticket", "steven brundage fool us"), which show clear
examples of what you'll learn. All tricks use an ungimmicked cube and will require a few hours/days
of practice to get the proper handling down. Also, some tricks are much easier than the rest -
imagination solve only requires one move and can be mastered very quickly whereas the
behind-the-back solve will require more practice.
In addition to the tricks, Steven teaches
"false shuffling" methods whereas the cube looks randomized when it's not. You have complete
control over how many moves it will require to solve, thus you can formulate your own tricks or
fake-speed-solving techniques. You also learn the best moves to make the cube have the most
separate colors next to each other, so it appears difficult to solve. He went through many
variations of moves until he found the sweet spot that would fool the most people.
news is: You don't need to speed-solve a cube in order to perform the tricks. In fact, you can be a
complete cube novice and still do them, which cuts down on the practice time. Obviously, long term
you need to be able to reset your cube to "solved state" in case a spectator mixes up your cube, but
for the purpose of learning tricks, it's unnecessary.
If you have issues viewing the MP4s
on your TV or iPad (like I did), you can convert via HandBrake, a free MP4 conversion program in
order to get them on the big screen.
PDFs: The first PDF is 2 pages, and contains Steven's
beginner method in a 7-step, easy to follow format. The first page contains the steps along with
color cube pictures demonstrating the "basic solve", while the second shows you stand move notation.
I would only print out the first page personally, since the notation is really obvious after about
an hour working with your puzzle cube. The other PDF is a speed-cubing guide from
www.BadMePhisto.com, and is a fairly intimidating 3-page color document with all the F2L, OLL, PLL
algorithms. If you don't want to be a speed-cuber, you can skip this entirely. If you DO want to
speed-cube, his website contains fantastic YouTube videos showing what all that terminology means in
a simpler format.
Conclusion: Overall you're receiving 3 hours of fantastic video
instruction along with a great cube for a rediculously low price of $35. For the money, this is the
best magic deal since Liquid Metal, and I rate it complete hotsauce. Must-have.