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frankzappa

Hexcells Infinite

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3: Hexcells Infinite

Developer: Matthew Brown
Publisher: Matthew Brown

It’s really hard to overstate just how good Hexcells is. For puzzle purist aficionados, let me put it this way: imagine if Japanese publisher Nikoli were to announce a brand new, digital-only puzzle design. It’s that strong.

For everyone else, let me put it another: it’s so bloody clever. A screen of yellow hexagon tiles, with scant information about which need to be turned blue, and which need to be destroyed. Your task is to figure out which are which, in a manner that’s most easily compared to the joys of Picross, but with the logic of Minesweeper.

But wait, come back – while there are some fair Minesweeper comparisons, they are few, and the game is in fact almost nothing like that atrocious piece of crap luckfest. This is a meticulous, deeply intelligent puzzle game, demanding you stretch yourself, constantly learning new tricks, new techniques for fathoming available moves.

The first Hexcells was a revelation for me. As a Picross, Kakuro and Slitherlink devotee, it was like being given the greatest puzzle present of all time – a new approach to logic puzzling, that can’t work on paper (since deleted cells can reveal new information), that is tougher than my other puzzling addictions. When Hexcells Plus appeared, offering another huge pile of puzzles, this time picking up the difficulty where the first left off, I was in Puzzle Heaven. The second game introduces more complicated instructions, new ways to learn which tiles can be painted or removed, and made thing so much deeper. But I’ve picked Hexcells Infinite here, because it’s this third and final game in the series that refines the puzzles to their absolute peak. It introduces no new rules, but forces you to be even more inventive and think even deeper about how to apply them to succeed. Oh, and it has a puzzle generator that will offer you the small matter of 10 million more puzzles to play once you’ve finished the curated collection.

It’s certainly worth playing all three, and starting at the start, and you can get the lot for £6. It’s simply the finest logic puzzle game to have appeared on a computer.

rockpapershotgun.com

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