Developer(s) – Carbonated Games & Astraware
Publisher(s) – Microsoft Game Studios
Designer – Alexei Pajitnov
PEGI – 3
Designer by the man behind the immensely successful puzzle game Tetris, Hexic is a game that focuses on a similar principle, the manipulation of falling objects, but is still an extremely addictive game reminiscent of many of Alexei Pajitnov’s previous works. When the Xbox 360 was first released, and this game came pre-loaded on Xbox 360 hard drives, I spent a lot of time playing it, and still occasionally revisit too.
Graphics – N/A (10/10)
It could be argued that there was fractionally more basis in visual diversity in Tetris since there is Russian imagery and architecture to be found in things like the start menu, but games like this don’t really need to stand out from a visual perspective since they rely solely on gameplay, so I don’t think there’s any call for them to lose out on marks for not having great visuals. Even Candy Crush Saga would get a pass at this in my opinion, since no one I have met who plays it on a regular basis has ever commented on how great the visuals may be; only of how addictive they think the game is.
Gameplay – 10/10
With several different gameplay modes and a level of challenge that would satisfy even Tetris players, Hexic is an absolute joy to play for hours on end. Even after players may unlock every Xbox achievement, there’s more than enough basis in replay value for them to come back to this title again and again. I doubt there’s as much history shrouded around this game, as there was with Tetris, but it is just as addictive.
Controls – 8/10
The only issue I had with the game’s control scheme is that it can be awkward at times to move the cursor to which pieces the player wants or needs to manipulate. However, players may argue that this is part of the challenge, and it’s certainly something I don’t think this game should lose too many marks over; especially since there are no issues otherwise.
Originality – 4/10
Even considering how much it differs from Tetris, it’s still not a terribly original idea in my opinion. As I said before, Hexic focuses on the same basic premise as Tetris, and by proxy, it focuses on the same premise as the many games of its kind that were release prior, and the many games of its kind that would be released afterward too. To me, even though many of these kinds of games may be addictive in gameplay, the be-all and end-all is the only one that can stand out to any great extent, and I believe looking for another one has genuinely become too much of a needle in a haystack situation.
In summation, regardless of its lack of uniqueness and its one issues concerning controls, Hexic is a pretty enjoyable game for one that can be played for free, and will provide repay value on an unprecedented scale. Alexei Pajitnov may have set the standard when he developed Tetris, but this title is proof that he still knows how to create an addictive game.