Hexceed Switch Review: The Numbers Game

Don't be a square and become a hexagon! That's not the gist of indie puzzler Hexceed, but it doesn't matter - this is excellent.

Dear ToastieLabs

I’m writing to you with regards to your game titled Hexceed. While I’ve very much enjoyed playing this indie puzzle game, I fear it has aged me.

At the start of my hexagonal adventure, I had a decent, well-timed beard, but after completing just the tutorial stage, said growth gave the illusion of 70s bush, and I’ve lost a day or two.

What is this witchcraft, and why am I not angry about this? Also, why do I want to push aside the keyboard and pick up the Switch to play this year’s best-shaped entertainment since alphabet spaghetti?

Perplexed but entertained,

Vulgs x

That’s the email I never was going to send, but a gimmicky insight into this indie puzzler available on your Switch from the end of the month. For FREE.

Hexceed Switch Review

This Hexceed Switch review is as quirky as those shoes in your wardrobe you think are cool. There’s not much to be said about the game unless you want me to go gonzo, and get into the mindset of a hexagon.

Hexceed Switch Review - Lots of numbers
Lots of numbers. Source: Nintendo

The goal is easy peasy: turn over hexagonal tiles in a very generous amount of stages, locating the duds along the way. Minesweeper will feature a lot here as it’s the same principle, only better. Yeah, I said it.

While there isn’t a he/she/them serving you up the visuals scantily clad and covered in whatever condiment floats your boat, the presentation is nice and minimalist without unnecessary distractions. When you binge on level after level as I did, (it does get a bit disorientating), you don’t need any bells and whistles.

The Bit Where You Say “My OCD…” – That’s The Completionist In You

Resembling a sudoku puzzle without the maths, you’ll manually select a tile to reveal its contents. Each contains a number – later, some hints and curveballs if enabled – and you have to guess where the dud is. Unlike the classic Windows game, Hexceed is forgiving, unless you start getting complacent and guessing/rushing through.

There are sooooo many levels that the completionist in you may get a bit sloppy to steam into the next round, but doing so will undo some of the hard work you’ve put in (tiles are flipped back over). Only once (in the early hours) I managed to undo two-thirds of a puzzle as I was a bit sleepy and making mistakes. In almost all coherent situations, i.e. giving yourself frequent breaks, it’s generally a welcoming and relaxing experience. Hexceed errs on chill, not rage.

Hexceed Switch Review - Flat, hexagonal Earth
Flat, hexagonal Earth. Source: Nintendo

I played on mute for my first few games and listened to a few shoegaze playlists (yeah, you judge..). It wasn’t until leaving the volume up in bed that I realised how suited the music was. It complements that feel of gameplay and changes frequently that it never becomes monotonous. There wasn’t one bad track, nor were there any of those catchy numbers that drill into your skull.

Shapely

In complete honesty, I wouldn’t seek out Hexceed based on appearance and concept. It’s one of those games that, if put in front of you, you’re hooked. Not that horrible mobile gaming addiction, but a healthy, relaxing experience. They say that heroes don’t wear capes, well indie gems don’t have to come in 3D (a quote nobody will ever utter, but the meaning was there somewhere). It simply works and is an engaging game to play. 

Hexceed - Pink
Pink. Source: Steam

Ignoring the blade held to my throat (I’m exaggerating – it’s a baseball bat), ToastieLabs have done a fantastic number here (geddit?), and I wholeheartedly recommend it. Of my own accord. Best of all to any skinflints, it’s free; you just pay for the DLC. Consider it one of those tips/buy me a coffee thing for the devs. But on a purely selfish note, get the DLC for you. 

Hexceed is a worthy investment with more and more levels on the way. Take into account that the ‘tutorial’ stage consists of around 40+ levels that took me the best part of an evening binging – later areas consist of 100+. Incredible value shouldn’t just be attached to your local supermarket; just seek this out. My work here is done.

Steam users can snap this up now (also free-to-play, the DLC being paid for content).