Hexius, a fast-paced puzzle game from Phasic Labs, is now available from the app store. Lightning-quick fingers and speedy recognition skills are a must for high scores and maximum excitement.
- Clever gameplay
- Exciting animations
- Simple controls
- Good variety of game modes
- OpenFeint integration
- Difficult to accurately determine which hexagons will be darkened
Hexius offers three gameplay modes: Time Attack, Level Challenge, and Strategy Mode. The gameboard is an 8 x 8 grid of hexagons, each with a colored shape. There are roughly 3 to 6 of each colored shape combination on the board. The goal is to match all of the same hexagons by tapping. The tapped hexagons will create connections by darkening all other hexagons in the line between matches. Once all of the same hexagons have been tapped, the darkened tiles disappear, only to be refilled with new tiles. The eliminated tiles score points. Time Attack gives you 90 seconds to score as many points as possible. Strategy mode eliminates the timers, allowing the player to take his time and strategize the best plays within 30 moves to score big points.
There are a few special moves that can occur based on the order of tapping and configuration of the darkened tiles. If a darkened hexagon is crossed more than once in the same configuration, it creates a Bomb bonus, with the crossed tiles turning into targets. Darkening these target tiles in a new matched configuration causes them to explode and destroy several surrounding tiles. If you include a colored shape of the selected type in a darkened configuration by tapping tiles on either side (thereby including the tile without actually tapping it), a Reveal bonus is created. For a short period of time, the first selected tile will also highlight all matching tiles, making it much easier to spot and tap them, saving valuable time. The last type of bonus is the Freeze bonus, which is earned by surrounding any number of hexagons with darkened tiles that form a complete loop. The Freeze bonus slows down time, allowing you precious moments to rack up more points. Quick play is rewarded with an increased multiplier. It’s frantic fun at its best, even though anticipating exactly which tiles will be darkened can be an exercise in futility.
Level Challenge mode includes a few target tiles in the initial gameboard setup, with 75 seconds on the clock. Eliminating all targets ends the level, adds 30 seconds to the remaining time, and gives you a fresh board. This process is repeated until time runs out completely, with your overall score being the number of the highest level achieved. We found this mode to be quite a challenge, as we were only able to reach Level 4 before time ran out, despite many repeated efforts. Strategy mode does not offer Reveal or Freeze bonuses, but Bomb bonuses and multipliers will help you top the leaderboards.
Graphically, the visuals are quite nice, with bright, easily distinguished colors and tiles large enough to tap without hitting the wrong one. Exploding tile animations are quite nice, like a mini fireworks display. There isn’t really a soundtrack to speak of, but there are many sound effects that accompany the various bonuses. Controls are strictly tap-based, only requiring you to touch the desired tiles.
Replay value is very good, as the game is a lot of fun and you’ll find yourself able to pick out tiles faster and faster. There’s a good deal of strategy involved if you are quick enough to spot tile configurations that will earn bonuses. There is an animated tutorial that does a nice job of explaining the rules and giving examples. The recently updated OpenFeint integration adds leaderboards for each game mode (both weekly and all-time), as well as an achievement system with 21 awards to earn. The $1.99 sale price makes Hexius an attractive purchase, offering a 4.5-Dimple puzzler with fun and interesting, albeit a bit confusing, dynamics.Hexius for iPhone: Find And Eliminate Matched Tiles ASAP,