The Cube is a physical challenge game show.
The game is played by a single contestant in a 4m x 4m x 4m Perspex transparent cube. The object of the game is to complete as many of seven games, each of which worth an increasing amount of prize money, inside The Cube as possible before failing an attempt nine times in total. Each game is pre-selected for the contestant before the show to suit their difficulty and can test a contestant's mental agility, physical ability, intelligence, observation or response. Each episode usually consists of two contestants' games.
Each contestant begins with nine lives. Each time a contestant makes an unsuccessful attempt at a game, one life is lost. The contestant must repeat the game until they are successful or run out of lives. Any contestant who runs out of lives is said to be defeated by The Cube and loses all money accumulated, with the exception of celebrities (who leave with £1,000 for their respective charities). After a contestant succeeds in a game, they are able to see a preview of what their next challenge is and can choose to leave with their prize money or play the next game to win the larger sum of money.
During a preview, the name of a challenge is revealed and its rules are then explained by the voiceover. They are each physically demonstrated by "The Body", a metal-masked character described by Colin McFarlane in the original series as "an expert at all games played within the Cube". Her real name is currently unknown.
Some games have specific restrictions to increase the difficulty of the game, which, if disobeyed, will immediately cost a life. For example, some of the games may only be played with one hand. Some have time limits, and some of these games feature stopwatches that are started and stopped by the contestant. Games that involve throwing or catching an object at a target usually have a red line the contestant must stand behind whilst playing the game.
The seventh and final game is worth a jackpot of £250,000; contestants who complete this game are said to have "beaten the Cube". It is a more difficult version of one of the six games a contestant previously played, and struggled to complete. Only one person has attempted, and completed, the seventh game: runner Mo Farah, who appeared in a special episode of a celebrity series in 2012 where British gold-medallists were the contestants.
Contestants are given two lifelines, each of which can be used once only. The first is called 'simplify', which makes a game considerably easier (e.g. by giving the contestant additional time). It may be used before any attempt at a challenge and remains in effect until the contestant succeeds or fails the current challenge. Once the contestant completes their first game, the second lifeline is unlocked. This is called a 'trial run'. The trial run allows them to play the game once without being penalised for losing or committing to playing the game (although they cannot advance to the next game if they succeed in the trial) before deciding whether to play or take the money.
Phillip Schofield occasionally offers statistics to advise a player about whether to bank their money or continue gameplay. Family members and/or friends of the contestant watch on in the audience, sometimes providing assistance with making decisions and recommending techniques for the game.
Since the first episode, The Cube has had a prize money structure starting at £1,000 and ending at the £250,000 jackpot. Below is a breakdown of the prize money structure, showing the game number and amount of prize money that can be won for successfully completing that game. If a player loses all their lives at any point during the game they lose all the money they have accumulated to that point.
Text Santa specialEdit
On 19 December 2014 as part of the annual ITV Text Santa charity appeal, The Cube was played with a two player team made up of Paddy McGuinness and Alesha Dixon. The format was adjusted and consisted of only three games worth £1,000, £50,000 and £100,000. The players were given five lives and the "Simplify" lifeline.