Reviews

Super Hexagon Review

It took me longer to type this intro than it takes to die in Super Hexagon

If you had the chance to play Terry Cavanagh’s recent game, VVVVVV, you know that he is a fan of challenging games. While VVVVVV was punishingly difficult at times, it meticulously provided frequent checkpoints. Super Hexagon has no checkpoints, but the average play session lasts anywhere between twenty and forty seconds (at least, it did for me).

Super Hexagon isn’t an endless runner, but it has similarities with that genre of arcade-style games. The game is centered around survival, but not in a fashion you have experienced before. You are a triangle in orbit about a hexagon. Tapping or holding the right side of the screen rotates your triangle clockwise, while tapping or holding the left does the opposite.

I’ll try my best to describe Super Hexagon in text, but you may want to take a quick gander at the screenshot in the review. The hexagon you orbit is also spinning, and each segment radiates a color outward toward the edge of the screen. The colors that extend outward have no physical properties in the game, they just serve to let the player know which edge of the hexagon they are aligned with. As the hexagon rotates, line segments fall towards the center of the screen. These line segments are also aligned with the hexagon’s edge, and they disappear once they reach the center of the screen. These are the ones you need to avoid. Got it?

If a portion of the falling hexagons touches your triangle, it’s game over. That game over comes quickly, too. Lines fall faster as you progress, and become increasingly difficult to avoid. At times, the entire screen pulsates with the music. I found the play sessions in which the screen was pulsating to a be a bit too much.

As mentioned before, each game of Super Hexagon will rarely approach a minute in length. While I feel like I am progressing after playing enough, this only happens during lengthy play session. I can never fully master any portion of the game, and still find myself dying early on.

The game does pull you in, I played so intensively on the train that I nearly vomited. Online leaderboards mean that there is a motivation for the almost torturous difficulty of Super Hexagon, even if I am only in the top 20 or so percent of players (not a humble brag).

My favorite part of Super Hexagon has to be the music, and while I’m rarely alive long enough to enjoy the soundtrack of any of the game’s difficulty modes, I can tell it is a soundtrack on par with that of VVVVVV.

Super Hexagon is tough, and that is clearly its defining feature. If you aren’t up for a game that will frustrate you, stay away. High score chasers will feel right at home, if not outright delighted with what this simple but infuriating title has to offer.

Final Score: 

good

Super Hexagon is a Universal App and on sale for $0.99 (60% off) at the time of this posting. App Store Link

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  • DeInit

    Yeah, unless you’re adept with hand-eye coordinated action, the first few games will last 2 or 3 seconds as the hexagonal walls close in from outside towards the center of the screen, leaving you with one, maybe two exits of which usually only one leaves you close enough to the next to make it on time as the next hex wall too closes in on your triangle.

    My only complaint with this game, if it can even be called that, is that the music is awesome but you lose so frequently it gets interrupted, and sometimes it goes on (but you’ve missed a bit) and sometimes it doesn’t (and so you don’t get to hear other parts of it). I realize it’s part of the incentive in getting better, but I like it so much I’d at least appreciate it if it was on iTunes or something. Otherwise, a punishing game that I’d really like to master.

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