There are games that are hard because they demand concentration and timing, and there are games where you’re not asked to do anything particularly complicated but your brain just freaks out and you die ’cause somehow, deep in your grey matter, the bits of your brain that process excitement are shaking so gleefully that the bits that control your thumbs just give up trying to get their shit done. Super Hexagon is the latter.
This is a game that could function on any platform. It has two buttons: right and left. You’re the little triangle in the center, and the outside world is closing in on you rather aggressively and you use these two buttons to slide around the core and avoid things.
That’s it: simple to learn, tough to master.
What makes this game excellent is the sheer joy it achieves from its own existence. The music is grinding high-energy chip sounds, and the game graphics pulse and shimmy in time to the beat. The result is a game that seems at once an accompaniment to the music, and the reason for the music. Google has a 15-minute refund policy, and after the initial download I think I needed ten whole seconds to play two games and realize I wouldn’t need a refund, and the remaining 14.5 minutes to play something like 100 games of Super Hexagon, each one fraction of a second longer than the last (or, just as likely, a lot less).
This is gaming at its most fundamental, at its most refined and pure, at its very best.
Quite simply, if you don’t like this game, I wonder if you like games at all.
Updated: While playing this game I’m struck by two thoughts:
1. This game is what Internal Section could have been if Square had thought to include any actual gameplay. It has all the exuberance in play and sound and simplicity that Internal Section had in its creamy smooth high-res interlaced Gourad polygons but nowhere else.
2. This game loves the fuck out of life. It is so utterly and inescapably charming with its vibrations and rotations, and completely unapologetic about its difficulty.