Mar 9th, 2011

A new game called Hextacy has left beta and hit the Android market recently. It’s a very polished puzzle game with simple, yet addicting gameplay. The objective of the default game mode is to get rid of 3 or more adjacent hexagons by swiping your fingers through the shapes. After clearing the entire board of moves, a new row of blocks will fall in.

You lose when there are no possible turns after a new set of hexagons have fallen. There are power-ups in certain game modes to help you get out of a pinch. One will clear the entire column of hexagons it sits in, while another will active hexagons that are disabled leaving every piece available to make a move on. Hexagons are disabled and enabled after each turn allowing you to set your next move up before you’re even able to make it.

Things get a bit tricky when new hexagons disable themselves after falling. (This happens more frequently as you get to higher levels.) I’m not sure if it’s random or if there’s some algorithm that determines which new hexagons are disabled, but don’t break your phone in anger whenever you’re lead to believe you’ll be able to make a move on the next turn and instead find out that your game comes to an abrupt ending.

It makes for interesting gameplay, but it feels too much like chance for my taste. I’d like to think that I have some say-so in controlling the outcome of the game in situations like that, but that’s not up to me to decide. Still, I find myself coming back for more and more trying to beat my previous high-score (which is posted both locally and on online leaderboards).

To make things interesting, the developer has included two different game modes. Hardcore will limit you to hexagonal clusters of three, while Pure won’t afford you any power-ups to help you get out of a bind. (Sounds to me like the names should be switched around, but who really cares?)

There is only one song and one sound effect throughout the game, but there is an option to turn the sound off if you get tired of it. The only technical issue I’ve run into so far is when receiving a call – I was met with a frozen game when trying to return. (I had to manually force close it in order to start it up again.)

That’s only one oddity, but something I hope will be fixed in future updates. I really have no other complaints, though. It’s a very solid puzzle game and the developer – Magnus Lorentzon – prides himself on the job he’s done here.

The game is about $2.37 in the Android market, but there’s a lite version that gets rid of the online leaderboards and extra game modes if you don’t care about that stuff. Go ahead and check it out.

Disclosure: We received a free copy of the full version of the game from the developer for review purposes.