Super Hexagon (PC, iOS, Android) Review

The Short


Pros

– Extremely addicting, difficult action game

– Action game? Is this an action game? I’d say it’s just like a reflex game

– Seriously, the default difficulty is “Hard” and then it goes up to “Hardererestest”

– Minimalist graphics and flashing colors add to the difficulty

– Only three songs. All are awesome.

– Exceptionally addicting

– Quick; one “round” can last anywhere from a minute to under a second

– Nearly the perfect game for portable devices

Cons

– Not competing for score against friends kind of makes the game less interesting

– Might give you a seizure

– The “Game Over” and “Begin” voices are a bit obnoxious; I wish you could turn them off.

Screenshots don’t really describe this game, so here’s a video.

The Long

The thing about Super Hexagon that’s so great is…hang on, I died.

Ok, we’re rolling again. So the thing about…dang it! One more.

So ok, if I just quickly get this…nope. Hold up, one more go.

What? I died in under a second? That run didn’t count. This one’s for serious.

Ok, no, this one is for serious.

What were we talking about again?

This has reaffirmed my theory that all things hexagonal are evil.

Ok, right, Super Hexagon. It’s a game that’s out on Android and iOS and also your computer, Mac, Linux, probably Palm Pilot for all I know; I don’t care. The point is: you should probably go get it. If you have all the above devices and can’t decide, there’s clearly only one course of action: buy it on all of them. It’s only $3. But if you for some reason don’t have unlimited funds to buy the same game over and over, then I’d suggest the portable (iPhone, Android, etc.) version over another version.

Or you can kick yourself because you didn’t buy it in the Android Humble Bundle a few months back. Like I did. Gosh dang it.

Anyway, this is supposed to be a review, but I seriously can’t stop playing this dumb game long enough to write it. Let me just…ok, hang on, we’ll do it between rounds.

It’s like every stop sign I ever ran is back for revenge.

So the point of Super Hexagon is simple. You play that little bitty dot on the screen, and the world around you spins and sucks all those walls in towards the hexagon at the center. Your goal is to weave through the gaps of this labyrinth, because if you so much as graze one of those solid blocks of color your run is over and you’re back to square one.

That’s seriously the entire game. There’s milestones that are associated with shapes, with line being the start at 5 seconds, triangle at 10, etc. And yes, you heard me right: the first goal is to survive just five seconds. If this sounds easy, note that my current record for Hexagon Hyper Mode (the “Hardester” difficulty, and a remix of the first “Hard” level) is 4.11 seconds. Yep. Just can’t get to that 5 second mark.

But you can bet I’ll be back every 4.11 seconds to try again.

What else is hexagons? Well, bees make their honeycomb in it. And bees are evil, too.

This game is purity incarnate. It’s minimalist graphics, extremely simple controls of just left and right (it plays like a dream on both touch and computer, though I tend to prefer it on touch controls), and obvious goal are so simple a baby could figure it out. But when you get to the actual game, aka dodging stuff, this game is exceptionally tough. Tough, but very rewarding. When you’re on a fourty-five second run on Hexagon (the default “Hard” difficulty), knowing in only fifteen seconds you’ll get the much-wanted “Hexagon” shape call and unlock a new level, you start sweating a bit. Or a lot. It’s the most intense minute of  your life, and that’s the easiest difficulty.

There’s six difficulties total…well, three actually. The second three are unlocked after passing a minute in the first three, and are the same levels amped up to extreme speeds. This is the kind of game where you’ll play the hardest level, failing out after 5-10 seconds, then jump back to the first one and realize how slow everything is moving in comparison and how much better you suddenly are at the game. And then die anyway. And play again. Because a run is hardly longer than a minute, and everybody has a minute. I have a minute right  now, actually…whoop, died again.

The tunes of shapes. And rotating death.

The excellent, pure visual design is accented by some kickin’ chiptunes. If you don’t like them, you can use your own music, but I seriously dig them. One of the best parts is after you die and restart it’ll jump to like 2 minutes ahead into the track, meaning you’ll hear a different song. But if you want to hear the in-between stuff, the song that happens from 1-2 or 2-3, you’ll have to live long enough to hear it. I’ll fully admit I haven’t heard any of these songs all the way through in-game. Seriously. I can’t do it. But I’ll keep trying.

The only thing that’s obnoxious is the female voice that says “Game Over” every time you die, or “Begin” when you start. But even that becomes a sort of hypnotic quality, urging you to try again after hearing her say “Game Over” in that kind of disappointed way, giving it one more run before…ok, I died too fast that time, let’s try one more time.

According to Wikipedia, this is how you make a Hexagon. Note the lack of bright, spinning colors and constant failure.

Perhaps the only real complaint I could lodge against this purity of video game addiction is the fact that it’s longevity is, primarily, based on personal accomplishment. If you aren’t the kind of person who likes to stretch oneself without others being involved, this might not be the best game for you. However, you can easily fix this by convincing a few friends to buy copies of the game (or buying it for them yourself during a Steam sale) and then competing for top scores. That greatly increases the game’s lifespan, assuming your friends are as determined to dodge spinning shapes as you are.

Seriously…there is so much one could say about this game, but really it explains itself exactly perfect in the trailer video I posted above. Super Hexagon is a fantastic experience, and a damn near perfect game. It’s extremely addicting, unbelievably challenging, an impossible to put down. Like Tetris on the Game Boy, Super Hexagon is my modern-day mobile killer-app.

Five out of five stars. 

I was going to put an outro graphic here, but instead I just played more Super Hexagon. Hey; not my fault my phone is right next to my computer.

Author: Nathan Major

Spirit Shark: Hammerhead. Retro game collector, true ginger, and SNES fanatic. Goal in life is to become Karnov from the NES game Karnov.

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1 Comment

  1. I have this game! I feel the need to comment, since this doesn’t happen often. Super Hexagon is cool. And dat soundtrack. Once you pop, the fun don’t stop.

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