APP OF THE DAY: Super Hexagon review (Android/iPhone)
If mobile gaming has done one thing for us, it's to introduce a new level of addiction. With your phone always in your pocket, you can, at a moment's notice, slip it out and indulge in some whimsical pastime.
Many times we've said that simplicity of concept is the key to a great mobile game and little is simpler than today's App of the Day. Well, we say it's simple, but once you hit start, it's fiendishly difficult. Today we're geometrically challenged.
Super Hexagon has already been recognised as one of the top games in the iTunes Best of 2012 list, so you can play on your Apple device. We reviewed it on Android, where it seems to be enjoying equal success.
Super Hexagon is described as a "minimal action game" and it really is. There's little to the game's design, but to describe it as basic would be a disservice, because although it's minimal, it's one of the toughest games we've come across.
The basic principle is to navigate through an ever-decreasing set of hexagons, as if you're trying to get through a maze. Some will be just a single wall, others will have only one gap in them. As they approach the centre, on their hexagonal path, the spaces get smaller.
The only controls you have are left and right, which moves your tiny pointer around a central hexagon. You can spin around to make it through the gaps, but at the same time, the entire level is spinning, so you constantly have to move.
It sounds like a basic alignment task, but all this happens at a furious speed, accompanied by a pumping techno soundtrack and changing flashing colours. It's an immersive universe of psychedelic polygons and your aim is to escape.
There's little else to say, except that it's incredibly difficult. The game offers varying levels of difficulty, starting with "hard" (which is apt), and even though you might not finish these levels, it's worth playing the others as the levels are different.
Now we'll be totally honest with you. We've not had the greatest success with Super Hexagon. Currently we've found that about 14 seconds is the longest we can survive, before we're caught behind a wall. And that's not for a want of trying. We've played it over and over again.
One of the nice things is that there's no messing around. You die, you tap the screen, you're playing again. There's no progress saved or anything, you're back at the beginning and trying again, repeating the same mind-bending dance through the land of hexagonal wonderment.
You will detect patterns and as you play you recognise what's about to happen next - which makes it even more frustrating when you fail to take the right steps.
But that's part of the addiction and as much as Super Hexagon has frustrated, we keep coming back for more. It's not graphically interesting like Temple Run 2, there's little in the way of variety, but surviving on Super Hexagon feels like something worth bragging about.