Ladies and gentlemen, we have a new record for Most Swear Words Incurred by a Smartphone Game. The winner of this year’s Piece of Ship Mother Hugger award (barring any eleventh hour claimant) is Terry Cavanagh’s Super Hexagon.
Terry, I hate you. Oh, and Super Hexagon is absolutely fantastic – in case that wasn’t entirely clear.
Now, how to articulate how Super Hexagon works? The App Store description settles for “a minimal action game”, but that won’t do.
In Super Hexagon, you control a little triangle, and in a nutshell the aim is to avoid a series of shapes moving towards the centre of the screen, picking out any gaps and ultimately surviving for as long as possible.
Tap the left of the screen and you’ll move counter-clockwise along a fixed circular path; tap the right and the triangle moves - you guessed it - clockwise.
Sounds simple enough, right? Well, “simple” is probably a poor choice of word; Super Hexagon is absolutely brutal.
The brutality is clearly evidenced in the difficulty settings. The easiest setting is ‘hard’, followed by ‘harder’, ‘hardest’, ‘hardester’… and, er, two others that I’ll be seriously lucky to unlock.
Some of my mates and I have been furiously playing the ‘hard’ mode, and a good score is anything above 60 seconds. Yes, survive more than one minute in Super Hexagon’s easiest mode and you’re doing well. At times there have been milliseconds in it.
I briefly dabbled in ‘hardest’ and felt like I’d achieved something if I clocked in more than 10 seconds. And there are three modes that further increase Super Hexagon's difficulty. Sweet Moses.
Gripes? Well, at first – at first – I felt like I was battling the controls as much as I was battling the approaching shapes. See, it’s a case of holding your finger down and letting go when you think you’re safe.
However, there have been dozens of times when I’ve just clipped a shape and resultantly heard “Game Over”. So it wasn’t specifically a case of being overwhelmed by the shapes and the constantly changing colours; I was more so craving some sort of analogue stick.
Having said that, it wasn’t so much a problem as the hours went on; it definitely becomes more intuitive. Indeed, don’t be surprised if you find yourself utterly hypnotised by Super Hexagon.
And that, friends, is Terry Cavanagh’s Super Hexagon. It’s £1.99, which is fairly steep as far as smartphone games go, but less than a cup of bloomin’ coffee. Don’t be stingy; Terry is thoroughly deserving of your two quid.
Oh, and I almost forgot to mention the fantastic chiptunes by Chipzel. Easily one of my favourite smartphone gaming soundtracks to date.
Go buy Super Hexagon. Now. Just don’t blame me if you smash your iDevice.
- Simple concept
- Hypnotic visuals
- The chiptune soundtrack
- It’s £1.99
- The controls (at first, anyway)
- Relentlessly difficult
Summary: With Super Hexagon, Terry Cavanagh takes a simple concept, blends it with an array of brutal difficulty settings, and yields one of the best iGames on the App Store.
Developer: Terry Cavanagh
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 4.3 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.
Price: £1.99 @ App Store