Each sticker shows 4 ropes of different colors so that each rope connects 2 sides of the sticker, and each side has 2 ropes leading to it. All the stickers have the same rope pattern and are using the same 4 colors, though the color arrangement usually differs. In the initial state ropes of the same color are connected, giving a total of 28 closed paths, or 10 paths each with yellow and red ropes and 4 paths each with green and blue ropes. Note that each cube face has the same 4×4 pattern.
The layout of the Tangle Cube was created in 2011 by Olivér Nagy and Walter Randelshofer. It is based on Patrick Hahn's idea to cover a Revenge Cube with tiles similar to the 'Rubik's Tangle'.
'Rubik's Tangle' is a 2D tile puzzle invented by Ernö Rubik. There exist several variants of this puzzle, which all have very similar tiles:
Rubik's Tangle, the original version, was sold sold around 1990. The puzzle has 25 single sided cardboard tiles, and the aim was simply to make a 5×5 square with matching edges. The 4 rope pieces on a tile can be colored in 4! = 24 ways, and all these occur in a Tangle set. There is one duplicate piece to make the 25 tile set complete. The original Tangle came in 4 flavours, each with a different duplicate piece. An additional puzzle could be created by collecting all 4 sets, and trying to combine them into a 10×10 square. Unfortunately, the combined set of 100 tiles cannot be placed in a 10×10 square. The furthest are 99 tiles: a square with one corner tile missing and one of the duplicate tiles is left.
Rubik's Mini Tangle, a simpler version, was also released around 1990 which was still made from single sided cardboard but had only 9 tiles making a 3×3 square.
Rubik's Tangle, the final version, came out in 1995. It is made of 9 plastic tiles, which have the rope pattern on both sides but with different color arrangements. Of course, the aim is again to build a 3×3 square.