Designing a hard game is pretty easy. Actually, some of the worst games documented were exceptionally tough or even impossible to beat. Managing to come up with a hard game that actually feels fair and never frustrates to the point it ceases to be fun on the other hand is a true feat of game design skills.
Not surprisingly then, Terry Cavanagh’s forthcoming Super Hexagon for the iPhone and iPad is definitely one such feat and a proper twitch-arcade masterpiece.
The game, an abstract avoid-’em-up, has you controlling a tiny triangle that can be rotated both clockwise and anti-clockwise and avoiding obstacles, all the while trying to not be confused by the relentless beat of the music and those gloriously flashing psychedelic graphics. Lasting for more than 20 seconds is quite an accomplishment and if you actually manage to play for one straight minute without losing, you’ll probably be congratulating yourself for the rest of the day.
The difficulty does start at hard and only goes to harder and hardest. Superhumans will also get to unlock even more demanding settings and then go on and show everyone just how tough they are. Well, at least each play is followed by the next almost instantaneously with the game instructing you to play “again!”. Interestingly that works; it feels like you are being coached. Super Hexagon might be a tough game to crack, but also a game that allows you to believe that you will actually do much better next time.
It won’t take much time before you enter “the zone” either, mind you, and all the colours and sounds start making brilliant sense as your gaming gets better and better and as the addiction starts sinking in. My very last playthrough lasted for over an hour or over 100 individual games. So, yes, I am quite loving this and chances are so will you.
Super Hexagon by Terry Cavanagh will be released on Thursday the 6th of September as a universal app for iPhone and iPad. Android, PC and Mac versions might also appear in the near future.