Jake’s original plan had been to play Cubes on his own until he became good enough to go on-line, but somehow, he did not seem to get any better. He had watched dozens of strategy videos but could never replicate what he saw. The game was deceptively simple. The screen filled with a series of cubes, each of which could be rotated. If the player could manoeuvre them to match a line of the same colour or size, they would be transferred to the other player’s screen. One player won when the other could make no moves. To make things more difficult, the player could never see the entire game area at any one time, and at random points, the cubes would change colour. The player could manoeuvre to the edge of the arena to find out what colours would appear next, but doing so often prevented them from making a line.
Jake lost again and had to stop himself from throwing his controller across the room. He had reduced the difficulty to ‘hard’, but still lost almost half the time. When he heard his mum come into the room behind him, he held his breath. If she saw him getting angry, she might tell him to stop playing.