iGAD Day 4: Super Hexagon (iOS)

iGAD is a series of blogposts, continuing until I finish [A SHITLOAD] of indie games. Yesterday I took a look at Moment Studio’s Skylight, and now it’s time to check out Super Hexagon, a ridiculously punishing iOS game by Terry Cavanagh.

You know when a game ruthlessly and effortlessly kicks your ass, and does it in a manner in which it’s totally your fault whenever you lose, and then you feel the uncontrollable urge to just give it one more try?

Super Hexagon is one of those games.

In this utter bastard of a game, you control a tiny triangle, spinning around the centre of the screen to avoid being crushed by various walls which take the form of polygonal shapes – hexagons, squares, and pentagons (at least in my experience of the game – there might be more shapes).

I think it says something about this game that:

1. The guy who developed it, Terry Cavanagh, also made VVVVVV.
2. The easiest difficulty is “Hard”, followed by “Harder” and “Hardest”. These are just the beginning difficulties, however – there are “Hyper” versions of each difficulty which make the gameplay a lot faster, and, by extension, ridiculously harder.

That’s measured in seconds, not minutes…

Super Hexagon is a game for masochists, and I love it. It’s not unfair, like some “hardcore” games can be – it’s completely fair, and, just like VVVVVV, laughs in your face every time you fail. It doesn’t help that there’s an amazing 8-bit soundtrack (composed by Chipzel) throbbing behind the action, goading you into having just one more try…

Verdict: I hate myself, and heartily recommend that you, my loyal reader, purchase this game. It’s great fun, and a fantastic timesink. Go grab it from the App Store before all your friends do, so that you can be all hipstery about it.

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iGAD Day 2: Encarmine

iGAD is a series of blogposts, continuing until I finish [A SHITLOAD] of indie games. Yesterday I took a look at Dejobaan’s Drunken Robot Pornography, and now it’s time to check out Encarmine, a Ludum Dare 24 entry by a development team made up of Bishop Meyers, Kate Holden, and Yan Rodriguez.

Hmm. I didn’t expect to be blogging about an interactive novel. Is it really a game? Anyway..

Encarmine is an interactive novel made with the Ren’Py visual novel Python framework, and because of this, it’s not very complex, or action-packed. There’s no real gameplay to speak of, other than clicking through dialog and making limited choices to alter the story. In spite of this, Encarmine manages to weave a compelling, riveting story which, well, just works. It’s fun to experience.

To be honest, I was surprised by this game. Ludum Dare entries can sometimes be of, ah, questionable quality, and that’s what I half-expected when I started Encarmine up. I’m not just saying that Encarmine is pretty good just to be nice to the indies who made it – it actually is pretty good. There are some flaws, of course, which include a bunch of spelling errors and what I suspect was a failure to run background scene change code in Maurus’ side of the story, but these are mostly-excusable, seeing as this interactive short story was made for a game jam.

I should probably talk about the story itself, shouldn’t I?

The story follows two fiend-hunters (fiends, in this universe, are demons which possess humans and cause them to do generically evil things) by the names of Lucia and Maurus – the former a maiden wielding a sword, and the latter a warlock with a troubled past. In the process of chasing down a fiend, they get separated, and run into different sorts of trouble on their chosen paths. I won’t say any more for fear of spoiling the story, but I’m glad to say that it’s not a waste of your time to experience the story – accompanied with the art (which, in itself, is quite well done) and the music (also well made), it’s great for a rainy day.

Verdict: This game isn’t even Call of Duty. 0/10, would not blog about again.

(in all seriousness, if you’re feeling bored, go buy it and play it. It’s worth the $5.)