Wheel of Fortune Cubed doesn't offer the kind of game you've been accustomed to for years. The dry wit of Pat Sajak and his innate chemistry with Vanna White has long been a television staple. Wheel of Fortune Cubed attempts to put the puzzles, and not the personalities, at the forefront. But is it worth putting words together without Vanna by our side?
The most important aspect to remember is the word "cubed." Giving this puzzler a three dimensional world is a smart move, as it enables players to properly guess several words that surround the Wheel of Fortune cube. If you're trying to build your vocabulary and don't want to slog through a year's worth of The New Yorker, 20 minutes of consonant and vowel guessing should do the trick. Under Solo Mode, instead of spinning the wheel and making money for proper letter choices, you get your mitts after the timed cube challenge ends. This was the first cube I solved, and if I ever have the misfortune of eating venison, I'll be sure to add "gamey" to my dining experience.
To place letters on the cube, use a finger and drag your choice to the puzzle. Once you make a mistake, just tap on the letter and it will return to the bottom of your screen. Under multiplayer mode, you take the money you've accrued in the game and stack it up against your opponent. The first person to accurately solve the puzzle wins. Since it's obviously turn-based, waiting for your randomized opponent gets wearying, so for time's sake challenging a Facebook friend is your best option.
My single player experience was greatly enhanced by power ups, or in this world building game, I prefer to call them cheat downs. With the chance to have a puzzle solved before the countdown starts, or get letters wiped off the board to ease your pain, Wheel of Fortune Cubed is transformed into a relatively easy exercise. I kept my cheating to a minimum, and usually decided to have an extra slot reserved for a letter. Some of the clues are a bit difficult, especially if doing the Sunday crosswords isn't a weekly ritual.
The actual cube is great. You can touch it on your device and move it around to see your clues and letters at different angles. There's absolutely nothing wrong with seeing things in three dimensions, but it's wonderful to know that the actual sight of the wheel makes the heart get a bit sentimental. If you were a child of the '80s like me, seeing the bright colors and dollar amounts drips of pure nostalgia. Of course, the first time I try spinning the wheel in multiplayer mode, it reminds me of my current financial status.
Since my iPad lacks enough space for a bazillion apps, I'm constantly deleting games that I would prefer to keep on my device and not send off to iCloud purgatory. Although it doesn't have the bells and whistles of most of my tablet survivors, Wheel of Fortune Cubed is a total keeper thanks to its word building structure. Whether you're bankrupt or have thousands of dollars in the bank, at least you'll know how to put things together, one letter at a time.