#766 Hexic 2

Posted: 26th April 2014 by Jeroen in Games
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325th played so far

XBL_Hexic-2Genre: Puzzle
Platform: Xbox 360
Year of Release: 2007
Developer: Carbonated Games
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios

We haven’t really played many puzzle games lately, have we? Especially pure puzzle games. We had Scribblenauts recently, but that’s about it. It’s a stats thing really – we were getting a bit too far ahead with the genre and needed some time to focus on other genres. Now, however, we’ve caught up and even fallen behind a bit – time to jump back into a genre we both enjoy playing. We currently have the same problem with Platformers which is now the genre of game we are the most behind on.

Hexic 2 has an instantly amazing pedigree – it’s from the mind of Alexej Pajitnov, the creator of Tetris. A version of the original was installed on all Xbox 360 consoles, with this sequel being released two years later.

Our Thoughts

Hexic 2‘s gameplay is simple. On a board filled with coloured hexagons, you rotate them to create groups of a single colour. They disappear, you get points. Getting long chains or flowers (a circle of six surrounding one of another colour) gets you additional bonuses.

It’s not as simple a formula as Tetris, in a way – it’s not as intuitive as forming lines of blocks, and the controls are a bit awkward. You’re moving around this offset grid, where it becomes a bit difficult to get to the exact rotation point. Rotation gets awkward in the direction you turn in – we kept turning clockwise all the time where counter clockwise is possible. There are also several powerups available, but while there are help files around, it’s not immediately clear why it’s there or what they’re doing. All in all, it takes more time to really learn how to play the game.

It is still an incredibly addictive game. It works well in multiplayer – trying to annoy the other player while you’re building up your score – or in single player, with either measured puzzle-solving or a race to the finish. Survival mode locks off bricks you don’t clear during a level, making it every more difficult to play the game. It is still fun against the computer however it doesn’t give that same joy as making the person next to you swear as you extend your section of the gaming board into their half.

It’s all fairly straightforward, and while there are several twists, all seem to follow naturally from the basic gameplay. A bit more explanation would be nice, some improved controls, but on the whole the game plays pretty well.

Final Thoughts

As a puzzle game, Hexic 2 has the mechanics down, with some solid (if simple) graphics. The many different modes are interesting enough, offering a lot of gameplay options. The multiplayer adds a lot to keeping the game fresh, with the singleplayer modes adding quite a lot of variety to keep things fresh.