Battle is where skills are honed, and where the weak is separated from their wretched existence. The board is where it is all laid out, and where the strategies are proven. The initiative is the motivation, and those motivated not to die take killing more lightly. In the world of Neuroshima Hex the world is a board, and life is a battle. Whatever you do, don’t take any win for a given. In a turn an initiative can change, and all your strategic cunning goes out the window.
Neuroshima Hex is a board game translated onto the small screen. Turn based battle between two to four factions. For each turn up to three tiles are randomly drawn. One of these has to be discarded right away giving you one to two tiles to play. These are units and unit effects you can place on the board, direct action such as sniping an enemy, movement of a unit or HQ, and initiate battle. When you have done your moves such as placing units you end your turn. Battle is only initiated when the battle tile is played or the board is full.
Battle is based on initiative, and each unit has a number from one to three. The higher initiative units acts first, and it is possible to wipe away a lot of enemies by placing units well. Furthermore there are other tiles that affect the units such as giving them extra hit points, higher initiative and greater attack power. For initiative zero the HQ of each faction involved get to strike back against enemies within one square reach on the board.
The game ends when only one HQ is left alive or there are no more tiles to draw. The final turn is a final battle, and often the game is decided on that last fateful move. There is of course a bit of luck involved in what tiles you draw when, but it never feels that way. To me it feels that a loss is due to the enemy playing better or me not following my strategy.
Neuroshima Hex feels much like playing a combo of Button Men and Carcassone. The controls are spot on, and it is easy to rotate and place tiles. The speed up button for each initiative in battle is great. The AI is fairly quick making moves as well, and a match can take somewhere between two and ten minutes.
The presentation is polished with easy to read tiles with cool looking units. The background is post apocalypse themed with great attention to detail. The music could have been a theme for any of the Terminator movies with some slow dark techno. Sound effects are suitable to the game. A video tutorial shows how to play, and is great for getting into the game. Playing a couple of matches is all it takes to start kicking easy AI butt. In quick game you only tee off against one AI player. In custom game up to four human players can wage war. Alone against three AI players every move is crucial no matter what skill level the AI is on.
This could have been a five-star game, but in the end there are some things sorely missing. For one there is no online functionality, and this would have been a great game to play online like Carcassone. Furthermore there is no stats tracking for single player games. To me this would have been a simple feature to include to allow me to see my progression. I would of course also love to see a campaign or daily challenges where you get a set tile collection.
I completely adore Neuroshima Hex, and find it as addictive as Peggle. It is great fun to see strategies pan out, and exciting to foil the enemy’s plans. With great production values the board game has been translated to perfection. Now I only hope for an update including stats, online multiplayer and score to excel this to the very top of my personal list.
Neuroshima Hex $2.99
Seller: Big Daddy´s Creations
Tested on an iPhone 4.