Neuroshima Hex is one of those ports that isn’t from another console, but from a real, acclaimed board game. It is based in a post-apocalyptic world filled with an original cast of factions. You can choose to play as or fight against machines, mutants, humans, or gangers, each with their own spin on the range of units available.
The game takes place on a board with hexagonal pieces, and most of your time is spent strategically placing units on the board. Since post-apocalyptia isn’t the best place for diplomacy, all of your work leads up to combat, which is a complex endeavor. The game has a tutorial video, but one of the first things we noticed was the necessity of reading the entire manual to discover exactly how the game pieces interact with one another.
Every piece has creative artwork from the board game, as well as several symbols dictating the features of the piece. There is no in-game information besides this, however, so you must first read about the army you choose before you can battle efficiently. After you have learned the details, you can dive into the complex strategy that the game requires.
Battle is either triggered by a special token or the game board being filled, and it is carried out in initiative phases. The placement of your units and supporting “module” tiles is essential, because any misstep can put your units in danger before they have even acted. Each player has an HQ token, and the goal is to either destroy all other HQs or, more realistically, to take the least amount of damage to your own. When everyone runs out of tiles, the player with the least HQ damage wins.
Four people can play on one device, but pass-and-play is the only option available, so most people will be battling the AI. There are three difficulty levels for the AI, but even the first level can be frustratingly difficult for beginners, which is discouraging to the non-strategy-buffs among us. Overall, we enjoy the theme and character of the game, and we think that those who have time to put into learning and mastering the game will enjoy the challenge.