Super Hexagon

 

What do we mean when we say that something is Perfect?

To me, it’s the idea that something simply cannot be improved – that adding, changing or taking away any part of it would only make it worse. That changing a single frame, a single word, a single note would destroy it utterly.

So, what is perfect? How many perfect anythings – films, games, books, songs or other works of art – are there? It’s a small list. Some Like It Hot? Voodoo Ray? The Mona Lisa? Mario 64?

Super Hexagon is perfect.

It’s simple enough that a five year old can understand it. You move, if you hit anything you die, and that’s it.

It’s hard. But it’s never unfair – if you die, it’s your fault. There are no invisible bullets, no unfair behind the screen intelligence artificially extending game play by throwing a curve ball at you. Everything you need to survive is there, on the screen with you and if you miss it, if you don’t see something you have nothing to blame apart from your own reactions, and your own poor planning.

It trains you. When you first pick it up, you will die within five seconds, convinced that no human brain can survive the audio visual onslaught. 60 seconds feels like an impossible dream and that this is all some elaborate joke, like a more stylish Flappy Bird. And then you begin to learn, your brain keys in to the nuances of the game, you learn the patterns, your fingers move on their own and 30 seconds, 45 seconds, 50 seconds goes by and then, BOOM!, you survive for a minute and it turns up the pace again. You move on to the harder modes and you start to survive them too.

It makes the impossible seem normal. Go back to “Hard” mode after working your way up to 30 seconds or so on Harder or Hardest and… It’s slow. This was something that a mere two years ago seemed to be impossibly fast, and now you have all the time in the world?

I first wrote this review years ago, and it still stands today. I have poured more time into this, in five second bursts, than most of you have ploughed into Fallout’s 1 through to 4 combined. I still haven’t beaten all six modes; and I may never do so, but I’m getting there. Hard and Harder are done, and I’m up in the 30-40 second range in Hardest, Hardester and Hardestest, so the end is in sight. And I still love every second I put into it.

If you play games, you should play this.

If you make games, you should play it until your nose bleeds.

Just get it played.

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