Overall Score 84%
Hexvex is a standard type of puzzle game with a unique idea. Each level consists of a grid of hexes of varying design and the aim is is rotate and place various shapes to form a circular blob of seven hexes. Make a circle and the hexes vanish. Pieces are placed and rotated in a strict order and there are some inventory items, as well as different types of floor hex and blob hex.
The one man developer has done a very good job on the graphics, sound and indeed concept for this game. The presentation is very well done. All of the graphics are bright and colourful and the menus and options are easy to identify. The game is explained well and the controls and cursors when using inventory items in particular are excellent, making it very easy to understand.
Sound is good too, and the cheerful music fits the game well. The usual options for volume levels are present.
To play, Hexvex plays exactly as well as every other puzzle game of it's type. The easy to use controls and attractive displays mean that the interface is never a problem even if the puzzles are but I can't help feeling that I've played it all before even though the game idea is totally original. Fans of this sort of puzzle game have a very large selection of games to choose from and it's hard to say definitively that Hexvex is better or worse than any of them. Turn based puzzle games tend to all play alike, and they all seem to be nice looking and well presented compared to arcade or adventure games. The $17 price tag is one area where this game succeeds over the (normally) $20 or more competition.
The demo is very short, even shorter than a tutorial of all of the game features which is quite unusual, but the demo is long enough to let people know what the game is about. The forced delay on the closing nag screen is simply annoying not persuasive.
The 64 full game levels on offer do not include the (almost obligatory) custom levels made with the high quality level editor. Some sort of random level generator would really have added value to this game. Ironically, most games with a level editor generally have fewer game levels as a result but the brain strain of 64 levels should be more than enough for most people.
There is very little more I can say about Hexvex. Everything looks great, sounds great and it's an original idea that plays about the same as any other puzzle game of it's type. Those who like these sort of games will like it, and those who don't won't. No time pressure makes it ideal for older players. As a solo developer the author Mattias Brynervall demonstrates an unusual talent for graphics, programming and sound. It will be interesting to see what future games emit from Bitbliss Studios.
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