Super Hexagon Review
- Trippy and confusing elegance.
- “Just one more game” is the catchphrase of the day.
- Gaining ground in such small increments can leave a player feeling dejected after a while.
A simple yet addictive game idea with good presentation can go a long way towards greatness, and Super Hexagon definitely fits this description.
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Sometimes the simplest titles can be the hardest to review. When there's depth, it can take a large paragraph or two to explain the mechanics at play, but on the opposite end, you may be clambering for anything to fill space. If it hasn't been given away yet, Super Hexagon by Terry Cavanagh of VVVVVV fame is a very simple game. One shouldn't take that as reason to overlook this title however, for we have a word for when simplicity meets quality, and that word is elegance.
At the menu screen you have a choice of difficulty between Hexagon, Hexagoner, and Hexagonest. Hexagon is the hard difficulty, it only gets tougher, and there are three unlockable modes as well for completing each of these modes (which suggests that there is an endgame to reach). Upon first loading up the game, expect to die. Expect to die often. You control a small arrow in the middle of a hexagon. Tapping and holding the left side of the screen will rotate the arrow left, and tapping and holding the right side will rotate it right. The goal is to avoid all the incoming lines and to see how long you last. After an extensive amount of time playing and improving, I managed to reach a personal best of twelve seconds in Hexagon mode. Your skill will vary, but you know how a lot of iPhone games are categorized as ad-break games because you can play them during the advertising while watching TV? Well this could be called an ad-break break game, especially in Hexagonest mode.
For as simple as the game is, the presentation is very high quality. The sharp colors and rotation of the hexagon give the gameplay a trippy kaleidoscope quality, and the chiptune music by Chipzel punctuates the experience with adrenaline pumping audio that contributes to continuously playing the game, trying to get a few seconds further.
A large part of why Super Hexagon is so addictive is how easy it is upon game over to touch the screen and try again. You start to get a handle on arrow movement and what the game will throw at you, only a few seconds later to see something new that you weren't prepared for, only to become determined to adapt to this new challenge. Throw in the curiosity of what the unlocks could contain (especially after trying the other difficulty modes) and you have a game that despite its simplistic premise and gameplay has a lot to offer, and is more than worth the value of the purchase price.
DescriptionSuper Hexagon is a minimal action game by Terry Cavanagh, with music by Chipzel.
Super Hexagon was a best of 2012 runner up for game of the year on the app store.
"A masterpiece of design purity" - EDGE 9/10
"This is the kind of game you’re going to pass off to your friends and say, “You’ve gotta check this out.” It’s dangerously addictive." - IGN 9/10
"One of the best mobile gaming experiences I've had this year." - Destructoid, 10/10
"Knows exactly what type of game it wants to be and executes on it spectacularly. Merciless difficulty meets brilliant design." - Gamezebo, 5/5