Wednesday, 19 August 2015


I picked up the Hexcells pack on Steam during one of the sales recently. Hexcells is a relaxing puzzle game that involves using logic to uncover a blue pattern in a hex grid in a way that is reminiscent of Minesweeper.

The primary mechanism is a grey cell type that contains a number showing how many adjacent cells are blue. The game introduces further mechanics as you progress through the levels, such as the number of blue cells in a given row, and the pacing is pretty good.

Each puzzle gives you a starting point, and while there is some freedom in how you solve it, for the most part the solution unfolds logically. Completing a puzzle rewards you with a predetermined number of hexes, which are required to unlock later puzzles. If you make a mistake, this is subtracted from the hex reward count, however the unlock requirement is quite lenient. You can play at your own pace, there are no timers or real score mechanics, so there is no need to guess; the satisfaction comes in finding the logical solution and solving it with no mistakes.

The first game is relatively simple, and short as a result - expect to finish it in a couple of hours. The puzzles get more complex from there so you'll get more time out of those, and the third game adds a random seed mode that I have yet to try, and mid-level progress saves that are sorely missed in the second game.

The game has an ambient background noise that when combined with the notes played when uncovering cells creates a relaxing soundtrack, but it gets repetitive particularly when you get momentarily stuck. I'd have liked an option to disable the background track, in addition to a complete mute button.

This type of game is right up my alley, requires thinking but isn't stressful, and can be played in short bursts. I would recommend the pack (I got it for under $US 3) and playing through them in order, over picking up just one installment.

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