Since the Rubik’s Cube was introduced worldwide, back in 1980, we’ve seen countless variations, some better than others. Uwe Meffert, who’s known for his popular Twisty Puzzles, launched in 2011 a very interesting version of the 3x3x3 cube we all know and love, the Wellness Ball.
In essence, the Wellness Ball is a Rubik’s Cube with an extreme makeover. The core is the same 6-axis “spider” (see video of its internal mechanism), but pretty much everything else is different. For one, instead of a classic cubic shape, the Wellness Ball features 27 spheres and sports a new color scheme (orange opposite yellow, blue opposite green and red opposite pink). Also, no stickers are used, since the spheres are made from combinations of two and three colored plastic pieces. I always prefer non-sticker variations.
The Wellness Ball is slightly bigger than a standard cube, but not by much. The maneuvering of the cube feels nice and smooth, although for someone used to cubic-shaped puzzles it seems odd at first. While the movement of the puzzle is most of the time problem-free and turns nicely, speedcubing is not recommended.
Meffert calls this puzzle the Wellness Ball, because it’s said that the sphere-shaped cubies help to stimulate the 70.000 nerve ends in our palms and increase circulation. Whether or not it’s true, I don’t care. I just love to play with it.
In terms of difficulty, the Wellness Ball is no different from a Rubik’s Cube. If you know how to solve one, you will most certainly have no problems solving this newer variation, albeit a bit slower than you current 3x3x3 best time.
Whether you end up buying the this puzzle to stimulate the nerves in your palms, to just play with it, or to simply add it to your collection, the Wellness Ball is a welcome addition to the ever growing Twisty Puzzle family.