I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, ooh, it’s October, and I’ll bet old Kev-o will be delighting us with all the scariest, spookiest Hallowe’en apps of 2012, because that’s what everybody does in October. Well, yes, you’re absolutely right, but I’ve specifically chosen to focus on arithmorphophobia: that is, the irrational fear of mathematical shapes.
Why shapes? Because it’s scary how much fun Super Hexagon is, that’s why. In fact, it’s so scary I’ll bet if I said that to a group of boy scouts a couple of them would wet their pants. EEEK!
Okay, look, you probably don’t have arithmorphophobia, since it’s an affliction so rare I had to make it up. If you really really need to get your scary on, I think I did something on zombies back in February.
Thing is, I wanted to work out why, with the heaps of apps kicking about on my iPad at the moment (and there are heaps, as you’ll soon see), I seem to always drift back to Super Hexagon. Maybe it’s because the music is so catchy. Maybe because it’s a beautiful balance of dead simple yet insanely difficult. Maybe because it’s practically over before it begins. Or maybe it’s because the music is so catchy (yeah, I know I said that twice. It’s very catchy). Whatever it is, if you haven’t played Super Hexagon yet, go and grab it. I honestly wouldn’t even bother reading the rest of this hastily thrown together article.
In an attempt to nail down what puts the X in Super Hexagon, I decided to go digging for more shapey games. Specifically, I went with six-sided shapey games. As it turns out, there’s a surprising number of things you can do with a hexagon. But, as a wise man* once said, just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should (*I think it was Jeff Goldblum).
Now, I want you to understand I really went to bat for you this month. Most of the time I just pull down a couple of random zonkers that tickle my fancy and tell you what I think, like or hate, but I definitely make sure I’ve got some likes and some hates. Sorry to say that after downloading well over three dozen games (that’s a squared hexagon, BTW), I’m still stuck for something to really shout about.
Overall, outside of Super Hexagon, the hexagon has left me with an overwhelming feeling of “meh.”
As a mathematically perfect shape, most games naturally tended to gravitate toward the puzzle genre, which on the whole I generally don’t mind. But the hexagon market is positively saturated…
You’ve got your rotators (Hex Master, HexRoto); you’ve got your pattern matchers (H.E.X. Lite, Hex Reactor, Hexetera, Hex Jewels); you’ve got your rotating pattern matchers (HexLok, Hexmania, Hex-a-palooza).
You’ve got your minesweepers (Hexaddict), your reverse minesweepers (HexGame), your pathfinders (HexMasters, HexFree), and your territorials (HexTile, Hex Territory). Then there’s the passive jigsaws (HexTangled, HexImg), letter scramblers (WordHex), and shapeshifters (Hex Slide 1,000), as well as top-down shooters (HexShooter, HexArena) and the ever popular tower defense (HexDefense).
Apologies for not going into the nuances. This was truly a case of “I’ve played all of these so you don’t have to.”