You know you may be in for an interesting time when a game’s difficulty settings start at Hard and go up from there. There are no ‘Easy’ or ‘Normal’ settings here. And you know things are not going to be easy if a game is from Terry Cavanagh, maker of VVVVVV, one of the most brutally punishing games you can possibly play. His latest salvo against our wits, Super Hexagon, is out for iOS and there’s no beating around the bush: this game makes every attempt to drive you utterly and completely mad.
Super Hexagon is a rather simple concept. You control a triangle orbiting a hexagon, and your job is to quite simply spin the triangle around and avoid all of the other shapes and lines rushing towards the middle of the screen. The shapes and patterns and mazes fly at you with ever increasing speed, and the screen pulses and sparkles faster and faster and faster. The levels twist and turn, and the landscape changes at a moments notice, forcing your neurons into overdrive. This is an epileptic’s nightmare.
More effective than caffeine.
Success in Super Hexagon is measured in mere seconds. Every difficulty setting is divided into ‘levels’ designated by a different shape, and you have to last a certain amount of time in each stage to advance to the next. Last long enough, and you’ll unlock even more difficulty settings where the goalposts for success are measured differently. The levels seem to be randomly generated, although you will eventually learn to recognize certain repeating patterns.
This is minimalism at it’s finest, but don’t let the simple design fool you. Super Hexagon is one of the harshest games out there. It will test every skill you have and will require every ounce of ability that your brain and twitchy fingers can muster. We managed to last 70 seconds, and this put us in the top fifth percentile on the leaderboards.
Play the blues.
That’s how tough this game is, but it never feels unfair. You know that with enough practice you’ll get better, and you will keep coming back again and again to try and best your score. Five seconds will turn into seven seconds and then into nine seconds and then you’ll get to the next level and it’s like an adrenaline shot directly to your heart. Yeah, did we also mention that the game is super, crazy addictive?
Super Hexagon is not for everyone. This is not for the casual gamer. Some people may be turned off by the fact that you can ‘die’ .5 seconds into a level. But for those of you crazy enough to take the challenge you’ll find Super Hexagon to be one of the most brilliantly designed, thrilling games on the market. You may want to consult a doctor first, though.