• I find myself drawn more towards finite video games these days. Something I can play intensely for 3-6 days, beat, and put away feeling like I've had a complete experience.

    The Hex is exactly that. I beat the game in 12 hours, and it's hard to imagine it taking much longer than that for anyone else. Better yet, it's a game with something interesting and insightful to say about games. It communicates with every tool at its disposal: gameplay, art choices, dialogue, all come together make a point about ego, the relationship between players and developers, and how we destroy the things we love.

    While this is primarily a narrative game, it's not lacking for interesting gameplay, with an emphasis on "interesting" as opposed to "challenging." While it technically has platforming sections and fighting sections and whatnot, it's really more of a puzzle game. It drops the player into different games in completely different genres, usually with pretty sloppy controls, and the player needs to figure out how to exploit the game's failings to succeed. That is to say: the challenge is in figuring out what to do, rather than in executing it. There are a few exceptions to this, and they can be frustrating, but it really is only a few. Not worth avoiding the game over unless you have actual physical limitations that would prevent you from using a mouse around with moderate speed and precision.

    It's from the folks who made Pony Island, by the by. In many ways it feels like a more fully realized version of Pony Island. It has the same underlying perspective, the same meta textual flare. The same trick of presenting you with a very tedious way of playing the game "properly," then offering you a "cheat" that is more quick and more fun.

    The game is very recommended. I learned about it from Jim Sterling's game of the year list, and it well deserved its place there.


  • Oh, that sounds like a very interesting game. I had't heard of it before. I am glad you explain to us about the levels. It sounds like it is a game that has something to communicate and is ready to break some gaming paradigms. From what you say I definitely would like to try it out some time.

    I'd be nice to discuss it here.

  • Finally got round to buying it!

    The best thing for me so far has been the atmosphere. It's beautifully creepy, even in the 'lighter' parts. And it's impressive how they've knitted different genres into the gameplay and yet it doesn't lose coherency. It's weirdly addictive, even though I misplaced my mouse and have been resorting to using the trackpad. I played it for 'twenty minutes' last night and was there for a solid hour. Part of that was a pointless completionism, feeling obliged to grab every coin and walk to the edges of the corridors to make sure there was indeed a wall in that dark edge and not another area.

    My only proper criticism would be the slow pace of walking. It's frustrating watching the characters walk ever so slowly along corridors and through doors I've already explored with other characters.