could be considered a spiritual successor to the classic game Minesweeper
. Your goal is to determine which of the hexagonal cells on each grid should be marked blue, and which should be eliminated from the game, using the various clues given to you for each puzzle.
Unlike that classic, however, there is always a way to logically determine how to solve the puzzles in Hexcells
without making a mistake. This sets it apart from games which use trial and error as a mechanic; while there is nothing wrong with trial and error, it's nice to see game that is designed thoughtfully enough to allow each level to be solved the first time without making a mistake for the observant.Hexcells
falls into that category of games which are easy to pick up and play, but difficult to master. Controlling the game could not be simpler; you need only use the mouse to confirm or erase cells and to navigate menus. The overall design aesthetic is pleasing both visually and aurally, with nice ambient music accompanying each section of the game. The music can easily be muted if you prefer, however. There is also no pressure; you can take as long as you need to solve a particular puzzle, and it's easy to back out if you need to take a break. All puzzles can be retried, and you can preview later stages as you unlock them through successful completion of the early stages. The only possible criticism, as I have seen pointed out in reviews on-line, is that you can't determine which puzzles still need to be perfected once you've cleared many of them, unless you write them down or something. Once a stage is cleared, its symbol in the puzzle index is marked blue, without any discerning marks to distinguish those you have perfected from those in which you made a mistake.Hexcells
is not a short game, but it's primary downfall is that once you've played through a few times, the replay value goes down. It's almost like the Portal
series; once you have that initial moment of wonder and discovery as you solve each level, it wears off. You can't have those moments of discovery ever again as you have basically figured out everything there is to learn after so long.
But that doesn't mean you shouldn't give this game a try, and the price is right. The puzzle design is very thoughtful; it's clear a lot of work went into each one to make sure that players can perfect them all. This is the type of design that appeals to me. Even if I make a mistake, I know I can come back later and re-examine the puzzle for the correct solution. Unlocking all six achievements is absolutely possible time and practice, adding an additional layer of accomplishment. If you like puzzle games, give Hexcells
8.0 / 10
If you need some extra help with this game, check out my newly-published guide to Hexcells