Sequel to Hexcells
and Hexcells Plus
, Hexcells Infinite is more of the same in a similar package and with fairly similar ambient musical theme and abstract graphics. This is in no way a bad thing.
Like in the originals, the game mechanics are simple but interesting: you have to find out whether all the hexes within the puzzle are blue or black with rules similar to Mine Sweeper and Hanjies. Baseline is that you can always deduce everything: no guessing is required. Though guessing is not punished either. Nevertheless, you need a near-perfect streak to acquire most achievements.
The mechanics have not changed at all after the originals: black hexes contain a number that states how many hexes around it are blue, and blue ones might contain a number stating how many hexes in a two-hex radius are blue. In addition there are Hanjie-like column-numbers that state how many blue hexes are there in a given line.
All 36 puzzles are new, so the owners of the original ones will be pleased. The difficulty curve is a bit steeper than in the original Hexcells but little less than in Hexcells Plus. In effect, it is great as a stand-alone title requiring no knowledge of the two games from before. For me it took 8 hours to complete all 36 hand-crafted puzzles.
Thankfully, saving within a puzzle has finally been provided! I have to wonder why it wasn't featured in the originals. The other new, much-sought after feature are the random-generated puzzles that add a ridiculous amount of replayability: you provide a random number seed and the level is generated, there being supposedly 2 billion levels. Unfortunately, I found the random levels frankly uninspiring and underwhelming in difficulty when compared to the original puzzles. Curiously, the way the random seed is provided introduces a social feature: you can post the coolest random levels (i.e. their seeds) to public forums for others to try. With so many random levels, there are bound to be some gems in the flock discovered only by trying.
With Hexcells Infinite, I'd wager this kind of puzzle game has pretty much been perfected as a concept. I would certainly welcome there being more of these cleverly crafted and well-designed puzzles. The graphics are as perfect as they can be for an abstract game and the ambient music fits the abstract theme splendidly.
If you already played and enjoyed Hexcells
and Hexcells Plus
, this game is a must-buy. Otherwise I'd really recommend either Hexcells
or Hexcells Infinite for their balanced difficulty curves.