Review: ‘Super Hexagon’ (PC)on January 3, 2013 at 8:08 am
I’m going to go ahead and say that Terry Cavanagh is the kind of man who I’d like to treat to a nice meal, have some drinks, discuss video games, and then punch in the face. I respect him immensely, as he makes great games; but he also makes HARD games.
This has never been more evident than with “Super Hexagon”, his latest maniacal creation.
Now, don’t repeat this, but I heard that octagons are planning an assault on Mr. Cavanagh… and that “Super Hexagon” is as addictive as black tar heroin. It also destroys more homes than heroin. 83% of the orphans out on the streets today are due to “Super Hexagon” abuse.
Now, at its core, “Super Hexagon” shares a lot in common with early arcade games. This is true of its graphics and its game design. In all honesty, if this were in arcades in the early 80’s, it would’ve made people cry while it raked in the sweet, sweet cash. This is because you only get one life and when you first start playing; your average playtime is going to be under ten seconds.
While it’s almost impossible to actually explain the mechanics of this game (screenshots don’t help much either.), I’m going to give it a whirl.
Basically, you play as a triangle in the center of the screen. You can rotate clockwise or counter clockwise. All you have to do is avoid the obstacles that are barreling towards the center of the screen. If you hit one, you lose. There is nothing more to it.
It sounds incredibly simple in concept but once you actually experience it, you realize that nothing could have prepared you for it. The entire playfield rotates constantly and will change the direction without warning. Everything pulses in time to music and changes color. In two stages, hexagons turn into pentagons and even quadragons… wait, those are squares.
So, the game doesn’t only require you to remember patterns, have insane reflexes, and learn finesse, but it’s also a sensory overload, designed to overstimulate you so you’re more prone to screwing up. Here is the thing though… those things make this game amazing.
I’ve read that some people recommend turning off the sound, so you can really focus on what you’re doing. I call bullshit, because those things, along with the fantastic music, completely absorb you into the game. If you’re not playing this game staring deep into the screen, unblinking, while your heart gradually learns to pump in time to the beat, then I’d argue that you’re not playing “Super Hexagon”. To me, the best part of the game is losing yourself in it and that’s impossible without the music. So don’t turn it off!
The game’s soundtrack is done by Chipzel and you can download or listen to it here. This is useful if you’d actually like to listen to the entire songs but find yourself struggling to hear more than a few seconds of them.