Jan. 24th, 2016

ysobel: (Default)
[personal profile] sineala got me hooked on this, and so I'm passing on the addiction, because I'm nice like that.

Hexcells is a Steam game that is an untimed solo puzzle game. The basic gameplay is essentially hexagonal minesweeper: there is a grid of hexagonal cells, and some are blue and some are not. The ones that are not blue contain a number with how many adjacent cells are blue. Your job is to reveal all cells correctly, left-clicking on a blue cell and right-clicking on a clear cell.

It does get more complicated, of course. As you progress, you get different sources of information -- are the blue cells continuous or disjoint? How many blue cells are there in a particular straight line through the puzzle? etc. -- and of course the puzzles just get trickier.

But what I like is not just the game, but how it's designed and how it's played. It is untimed. (There are not even achievements for speed.) The music and sounds are very soothing, very zen, and yet are not required for play. A misclick -- marking a blue cell clear, or a clear cell blue -- does not end the game or even make an obnoxious noise; it counts as a mistake, and there is an achievement that you can unlock for doing all levels perfectly, but you can do a level as many times as you wish. (Sometimes I will restart a level if I make a mistake; sometimes I will keep going and then go back to it later.) The controls are simple -- just right click or left click -- and because it doesn't involve the keyboard and doesn't have a speed issue, I can actually play it right now.

There are only three downsides. It requires Steam (though I had that installed already); it isn't free (but there are three games in the series and they're only $3 each, which isn't too bad); and it's ridiculously addictive.

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masquerading as a man with a reason

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