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Sep 27

Hexcells Infinite – Review

Hexcells Infinite is the third logic puzzle game in the Hexcells series, after Hexcells and Hexcells Plus, brought to us by Matthew Brown. The latest, and possible final, installment of the series has become truly amazing with an endless mode of puzzles.

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As Hexcells Infinite is a logic puzzle game, in the trend of Minesweeper, there is no storyline attached to it.

Graphics

The visual design has not changed since the first game and this is truly not needed either. The simplistic design has been brilliant from the start and it allows the player to focus purely on the puzzle. The contrast between the hexes are clearly visible thanks to the usage of bright yellow and blue colors – even the color-blind should be able to see the difference quite well.

Sound

The sound design in Hexcells is as serene as it is sublime. Again, the focus of the player is directed to the gameplay and not on the ambient sounds, which do somewhat calm the mind. There is a slight variation in the background sounds when the player has marked a cell and if done fast enough, the tunes are quite catchy – of course, the goal of the game is to complete the puzzles with as less mistakes as possible.

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Gameplay

The Hexcells series can be looked at as a modernized version of the classic Minesweeper that has haunted many of us for years. However unlike Minesweeper, Hexcells does not have a timer nor does it punish the player for making crucial mistakes when marking the cells. While the mistakes you have made will be counted up, it is not necessarily to punish the player but rather to be able to give the player the points they deserve when completing a level. In a way, the number of mistakes being recorded can always be looked at as a means of doing better next time as you will need a certain amount of ‘points’ to unlock the next set of puzzles. All-in-all, there are thirty-six available puzzles in Hexcells, the same number as the previous games. The learning curve for Hexcells Infinite is dependent on how well the player handles logic thinking but it can be steep once you’ve progressed through several levels as each level will have new mechanics added to the previous ones.

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The gameplay is fairly simple but it does require a decent amount of logical thinking when it comes to solving the puzzles as they do seem quite complex at a first glance. The player is given a grid, which resembles a honeycomb, of several hexagons. The numbers which you can find in the empty tiles are a direct hint to the number of tiles that are part of the pattern that are surrounding that exact empty tile. However, new mechanics are added every once in a while to ramp up the difficulty which can end in extremely mind-boggling puzzles where you need to mark a hundred tiles. For example, numbers inside brackets {} hints the player that the tiles of the pattern in that area are consecutive – thus {3} means that the tiles that are part of the pattern are all next to each other. This can become slightly confusing when you are given a grid that carries both {} and — marks as the — marks mean exactly the opposite. Having a good memory comes in handy as these hints only show up once. Obviously, the gameplay is not as complex as you’d think it is and the real short description should really be – the gameplay is similar to Minesweeper where you mark the bombs.

In the previous games, you had no way of swapping the mouse buttons. This is a new feature in Hexcells Infinite and while it is uncalled for, it is always great to give the player an option. Another new feature in Hexcells Infinite is the random puzzle generator which uses an eight digit seed number to generate a daily puzzle. Thanks to the eight digits, these puzzles can be shared easily as long as you’ll remember the code. These puzzle require less guess-work, although some are still brain teasing and the blue hexes can range between fifteen to more than a hundred remaining. Thanks to this new feature, the puzzles in Hexcells Infinite are truly infinite and the game now has tens, if not hundreds, of hours of gameplay.

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Conclusion

Hexcells Infinite is a successful successor to Hexcells and Hexcells Plus with even more mind-boggling puzzles that require your full attention. The addition of an infinite-mode where you can play as many puzzles as you can possibly want is truly one of its best features. The game continues to direct its focus on the gameplay itself due to the subtle auditory and visual designs. All-in-all, Hexcells Infinite is one of the best puzzle games there is. To top it off, you truly get your (brain-teasing) bang for your money with the endless puzzles and tens of hours of gameplay.

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