The first Rubik’s Cube created in the 1970’s is still a popular toy. Now, there are many different types of puzzles which have strayed from the original cube design. There are puzzles with actual mechanical gears now!
So, I’ll start by breaking down these puzzles into 2 categories:
Cubes: There is the regular cube which started out as a 3x3x3 back in the day. There are speed cubes, (built for speed) and there are V-cubes. Many V-cubes are a curved shape, and some are not.
Regular cube sizes are: 2x2x2, 3x3x3, 4x4x4, and so on… There is even a 17x 17x 17 puzzle out there.
Definition from Wikipedia: The V-Cube 7 is a combination puzzle in the form of a 7×7×7 cube.
It was invented by Panagiotis Verdes and is produced by the Greek company Verdes Innovations SA. Like the 5×5×5, the V-Cube 7 has both fixed and movable center facets.
What’s so cool about V-Cubes? Well, take a look.
Twisty Puzzles: They operate like other cubes with the same center piece cubes that retains or holds the outer cubes in place.
Features: Sticker-less, transparent, gears, jig-saw puzzle.
One unique feature about twisty puzzles is ones with gears. Here is an example:
Since 3-D printing, independent twisty puzzles are being made and sold. Many are sold online and through specialty toy stores.
Certain cubes or puzzles are better than others. Some are poorly designed where pieces pop out when speed solving. Even with Sudoku puzzles, where the stickers are just numbers, you may experience the stickers falling off. Some cubes or puzzles are not smooth, and very hard to turn. It’s best to test these puzzles first before purchasing them, but some people go through the trouble of putting oil on the inside of the cube sides to assist with turning performance.
Here is a small gallery of different cubes: