Super Hexagon, the latest release from VVVVVV creator Terry Cavanagh, is the kind of game that makes you hate games. It will make you feel like an inept player who couldn't play an arcade game even if you were in Russia (where arcade game plays you, we hear). You might even get mad at Terry, who crafted this fast, stylish game seemingly just to show you how often you can fail. But after you lose ten times in as many seconds, you'll suddenly realize that Super Hexagon has you by the collar, has already taken your lunch money, and if you want it back, you're going to have to keep playing. Strangely enough, that's a challenge you'll be thrilled to undertake!
It all begins with just three stages unlocked, featuring difficulty levels starting with "hard" and progressing to "hardest". No easy mode for you. By tapping on the left and right sides of the screen, you can rotate a triangle around the central hexagon. Solid blocks zero in from the perimeter, and it's your job to make sure the triangle stays away from them. Simple, right? But Super Hexagon is designed to throw you for a loop at every possible turn, so you can't relax, you can't look away from the screen, and you probably shouldn't take deep breaths, either. Don't want to break your concentration.
Despite sounding like a game designed to make you hate it, Super Hexagon is thoroughly engaging. Your first few seconds will be filled with frustration, but then you'll suddenly hit a point where you'll survive for ten seconds at a time. Then twelve. Then 15. Then, wouldn't you know it, you're hooked. If you can survive for 60 seconds you'll have officially beaten the level, and there are half a dozen to work through, each with new challenges and tricks, so your work is definitely cut out for you. The visuals are, if you'll pardon the retro term, pumpin', and the soundtrack (a chiptune creation from chipzel) is energetic to match. All in all, Super Hexagon is the kind of game you'll love to play for, oh, maybe ten second stretches for a few weeks, just until you can build up your skills. And then, it becomes an audio visual experience to match the likes of Rez.
You can also give the original browser game a try that started all this hexagonal madness, a game Terry started during a game jam in February, but it got a little out of hand. See for yourself...
NOTE: This game was played and reviewed on the iPad. Game was available in the North American market at the time of publication, but may not be available in other territories. Please see individual app market pages for purchasing info.