Google pays tributs to the Rubik’s Cube on its 40th anniversary today in the form of a Google Doodle. But unlike most such doodles, which are merely decorative recreations of the search engine’s logo, this one is playable. Google has dispensed with its own logo entirely today, posting a fully functional Rubik’s Cube above the search box on its home page. The rows on the cube are spun around at random as a tease, and when you click on it, the cube comes front and center and becomes full scrambled. But is it solvable?
Rubik’s Cube launched in 1974 but reached the height of its popularity in the 1980s. The game became famous both for its easy barrier to entry (simply twist the rows in an attempt to unify the colors on each side) and its near impossibility at being solved. Today’s Google Doodle is an accurate representation of the original game, perched at a diagonal so three sides of the cube are visible at a time. Tug on a row with your cursor to move the row, or tug just to the outside of the cube to rotate the cube so the other faces can be seen.
Some visitors may become distressed by the fact that today’s Rubik’s Cube Google Doodle will disappear from the google.com home page at the end of the day, likely before most can figure out how to solve the puzzle. The good news is that Google archives all of its previous doodles, meaning that ardent puzzle solvers can continue working at it for as long as they like. In fact the Rubik’s Cube has been added to the archive already.