hExistentialism is a game stated to be a replacement for games such as Trism, Bejeweled 2 and Tetris on the App Store page. Bold claims but how well does it manage to replace such popular games?
hExistentialism does some things really well, for one it has a game mechanic I haven’t encountered previously. You have to combine two shapes found on hexagonal blocks into a third shape that is the sum of the two. The shapes also have different amounts of white or black adding further challenge. A black circle combined with a white circle becomes a half white/half black circle. The blocks themselves have different colours that you also have to take in consideration. This is a fresh formula that is easy to get into thanks to a good thorough tutorial.
The list of reasons why hExistentialism isn’t good enough to replace the aforementioned games is troublesome though. For one there is a lack of a high score list. This is a must if you want to compete in the casual segment. Graphically it is dark and boring, and it lacks the explosions and graphical effects needed to be a contender. A casual puzzle game needs to add some crack for the eyes to get people hooked.
I had high hopes for hExistentialism after reading all the glorius rants on the App Store page with references to Kierkegaard and Nietzsche among the boasts of being the new big thing in he casual market. I should have understood that the lack of actual game information was intentional to avert attention from the aspects the game lacks such as high score lists.
With some work I think hExistentialism might be a good game, but I doubt the formula it brings to casual gaming will be as successful as the match 3 found in Trism or Bejeweled 2. I urge you to try the lite version before you consider purchasing the full version of hExistentialism. You might actually win a code to the full version at the moment according to the App Store page of the lite version.
Presentation and graphics
The interface is a bit too sparse, and I can see neither options nor high score anywhere. The capital E:s found on the game page in the App Store as well as for some buttons in the game aren’t used consistently, as the title in the game is all in capital letters. The backgrounds are dark, and quite depressive. The hexagons are also quite dark, and murky making the game hard to play outside with sun glare. With such talk about individualism found on the App Store page I think the game should provide you with a choice of themes or skins for backgrounds and hexagons.
The touch controls work well, tap one block, tap a second block, and finally tap the one that the first two combined become. Do this until all blocks are gone, and you get to play a harder level.
The game play is not that fun to me, and combined with the dark graphics I become drowsy playing hExistentialism.
Three different levels of difficulty adding more shapes, and harder to identify shape combinations.
Local high score, but I can’t access any leader board local or online. Should I keep track of my own scores? This is such a big flaw to not include a high score list in a game that is all about the score.
There are no unlockables or achievements. Would have been nice to for example unlock quotes by Kierkegaard or Nietzsche as they are mentioned on the App Store page.
hExistentialism is not good enough to warrant my recommendation as it lacks graphical finesse, music, and local and online high scores. I would like to have a better connection between the game and the description on the App Store, and it is never wrong to be a bit humble or at least realistic.