Tuesday, June 12

Review: Hexologic [Nintendo Switch eShop]

The classic puzzle game Sudoku took the world by storm for a very good reason, it offered a straightforward set of rules that you could apply to puzzles both big and small and presented a legitimate challenge. Taking some rough concepts that are in that vein, but providing an experience very much all its own, is Hexologic. Its challenge revolves filling in your hex-based board with pieces representing the values 1 - 3 and starts out simple but consistently layers on new rules throughout its 70+ total levels to continue to step up the challenge.

On each level you’ll start with a grid that is empty, only providing you with numbers that you need to match in various directions. In each space you can place a tile that represents either 1, 2, or 3, and the key to solving each puzzle is having your tiles in each line add up to all totals. While this isn’t terrible complicated at first, every 15 levels the game will introduce a new element that steps up the difficulty further, whether in the form of filled in pieces you can’t change or spaces that share the same total in more than one location.

Along the way through the base 60 levels you’ll additionally unlock 3 additional stages per area and these tend to be quite a bit larger and thus more complicated. Strategically, consistent with games like Sudoku, success is best assured by targeting lines that can only be solved in one way, which at least limits the amount of guesswork and will set a foundation you can build on. In particular the spaces that share the same number in multiple locations can be confounding if you don’t work out their correct number early since late changes to them will significantly set you back.

That leads to my biggest criticism for the game, though it’s not crippling, the fact that you’re unable to lock spaces in that you’re positive are correct. Especially in the larger puzzles towards the end it could be a challenge to remember which lines I’d determined absolutely had to be filled in a certain way. Though I doubt I lost much time to this when everything else about the game is so spot-on it stands out as really my only disappointment aside from simply wanting more.

Given the extremely budget-friendly pricing Hexologic is a satisfying way to spend a few hours if you’re a big puzzle fan. I enjoyed the fact that there were multiple methods to make the puzzles more challenging used in different cases. Certainly sheer scale can be intimidating but having the grid broken into multiple pieces and more than one set of shared spaces kept things from feeling too repetitive throughout. I’d love to see even more variations and further substantial puzzles in the future, if the ability to lock space/lines were added I’d be all the happier. Highly recommended for puzzle fans!

Score: 8.5

  • Clean design
  • Great concept with some variety introduced as you go
  • An appropriate budget price


  • Left me wanting more and even bigger puzzles
  • The ability to lock in lines or spaces would have been a great value add