“Its sole weakness is a capacity to discourage, but when Super Hexagon clicks, it’s the finest, purest and most addictive arcade experience around.”£1.99
Our first game of Super Hexagon lasted three seconds. ‘Game over,’ said a taunting, vaguely robotic female voice, as a nifty chip-tune was abruptly silenced almost before it began. ‘Again.’ Five seconds. Seven. Four. ‘Line.’ Eleven. Bafflement. ‘Again.’ Death. Frustration. Then, without warning, it clicked. Twenty-two seconds. ‘Triangle.’ Playing through cramp. ‘Again.’ Nodding along to the beat. ‘Again.’ Thirty-six seconds. ‘Square.’ Hypnotised by the corkscrew. Fixated. In the zone. ‘Hexagon.’
There’s no way to know how many tiny triangular ships met their doom inside our iPad. Hours were lost inside this kaleidoscopic, intoxicating, minimalist reality. Options are limited: arc left or right. The aim, singular: survive. At first, Super Hexagon seems unrelenting and impenetrable. But that moment when you realise there are patterns to learn, when you shift from simply reacting to what appear to be random walls hurled at your ship and instead recognise and respond intuitively to each gauntlet, is a piece of gaming magic.
Your reward for success is darkly humorous: after 60 seconds, you’re flung headlong into an even hairier white-knuckle ride, and tougher, faster Hyper Modes are unlocked. Finish all six and you see an ending only a tiny handful of people have legitimately witnessed.
We’ve not got there yet. Two Hyper Modes are unlocked but we barely crack ten seconds on the toughest of them. But we won’t stop trying, mostly because we can’t. Super Hexagon is one of the more immediately brutal games we’ve ever played, but it’s also one of the most electrifying. It’s right up there with the best arcade experiences on iOS — indeed, any platform — and although we recognise this pure and demanding arcade challenge won’t be for everyone, it is nonetheless the easiest decision regarding an Editor’s Choice award we’ve yet made in Tap!