Hue you lookin at?
Puzzle games should be rated entirely differently than other titles. Most websites/ magazines use a 1-5 star or 1-10 point scale, but I believe puzzlers should be scored on how quickly they make you scream in frustration. Using this new method, Huebrix from Yellow Monkey would score an impressive 3m 46s.
You have to solve levels by dragging paths from a number of blocks to completely fill out an empty grid (a bit like colouring in with your finger). Each block can only be dragged a set number of steps however, and this is where the challenge comes in. It’s designed to test your visual, special and logical senses. Coincidentally, I failed on all three of those things at my last TouchGen medical.
It’s almost embarrassingly easy to begin with. The first level is literally one swipe downwards to fill in the grid, and hey, you’re on to the next one. Of course, as you know three minutes later I was screaming like a bad horror movie actress so something went wrong between levels 1 and 4. Answer: my capacity to think. To be clear, I did figure it out in the end, but the eventual difficulty level of some of these stages is almost suicidal.
The game comes complete with four difficulty packages containing 20-30 levels each, so there’s a fair bit to keep you going. Tellingly, the packages only go up to level Medium 2. It’s only when you jump online to find over 300 more levels waiting for you to purchase in packages that go up to the intimidating-sounding ‘Insane 3’ that you realise you’re playing a drop in the ocean. Each pack contains ten levels. I have no idea why you want to subject yourself to such mental torture.
This is also a game that even though it uses a three star system to rate your performance on each level, gives no rewards for those stars. There’s no in-game shop or anything like that, nothing to trade in for, these are just stars for stars sake. In other words, your reward is knowing you were good enough to pass the level in a respectable time. There is also a hint system, but if you use it you get nothing. I got nothing a lot.
It’s an uncomplicated setup visually, with bright coloured 2D squares on a plain white grid set against a black background. It works well. No need for anything more fancy-dan than that. Music is chilled electronica stylee which no doubt is kept as relaxed as possible to provide a juxtaposition to the increasing rage you’ll feel as the clock ticks on your attempts to solve the level.
Finally, one great inclusion is the use of a level editor, where you can create, send and receive levels to/from other people. This does the obvious thing of pushing longevity through the roof, and gives the game an extra jolt of appeal.
It also allows me, after weeks sitting in a darkened room with nothing but the game to keep me company, to create an absolute evil beast of a level to send to the developers and give them a taste of their own medicine. Yellow Monkey, your contact details are nearby. You’ve been warned.
Huebrix is available now on iPhone, iPad and Ipod Touch for £0.69 . Get it now on the