Apple Arcade: Hexaflip is a brisk and breezy joy

Smart casual

I think I remember that Popcap once had a rule about hexes. Never use hexes in a casual game, the rule went (and let's agree not to unpick that term casual at the moment), because hexes are the absolute opposite of casual. Games that have hexes are about war and history and tactics and placement. No hexes in Peggle!

And yet here's Hexaflip, an Apple Arcade game that is simple and thrilling and wonderfully challenging. Hexaflip is a brisk and breezy joy. You can learn to play it in seconds and you will still be playing hours later. And there are hexes all over the place.

Hexes is a game about getting from the start of a gauntlet to the end. You're a hex, and you move by flipping yourself across a board of hexes, one tile at a time. The genius of all this is that you really have two choices: left or right. Because you're a hex, left and right tend to take you upwards and left or upwards and right. Or downwards maybe? It's just counter-intuitive enough to make you sit up carefully and pay attention.

From that basis the game adds brilliant complications. There are hammers that come down on certain tiles and you have to time your movement around them. Other tiles might have spikes that pop up every now and then. Some tiles have arrows and shunt you forward in a specific direction. Some tiles are little ferries moving back and forth.

When it's all flowing, across brief levels riddled with approachable complexity, Hexaflip reminds me of those old dance instruction sheets filled with pictures of feet and arrows: here, here, heel, stop etc. It's a gauntlet, but it feels like you're trying to do the paso doble with your thumbs. What can I say? This game is a delight - and it's emphatically for everyone. Popcap would be proud.

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About the author

Christian Donlan

Christian Donlan

Features Editor

Christian Donlan is a features editor for Eurogamer. He is the author of The Unmapped Mind, published as The Inward Empire in the US.


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