Thursday, March 3, 2011

[Game Review] Hex Defense

Okay, finally another Android post. I swear I'll get to posting a list of the major widgets and apps I use... Until then, here's a game review. I saw this one in the featured list of the Android market, and for some reason had an urge to check it. When I saw the good reviews and that there was a free version, I tried it.

The interface before actually playing is simple and nice. The main menu has New Game, Continue Game, High Scores, How to Play, and About, all pretty self explanatory. You can also hit the menu button for another link to About(wonder why? lol) and a link to Settings, which is vital for lower and medium end phones like mine, as this game, as the developer put it, was designed to push the new high end phones graphics abilities. Think Geometry Wars, exploding geometric shapes and lines in technicolour, all for your viewing enjoyment, and to trip you out.

The new game menu is just as simple, you can select difficulty up top, Normal or Hard(They need an "Insane", more on that later) and choose a level just below that. If you beat a level in normal mode, you'll get a grey checkmark beside the level, in hard mode and it's green. The level in the screenshots, by the way, is level 11, Two Paths. The highscores menu is kinda useless in my opinion, for now. It just lists the levels, exact same as the new game menu,(both show your highscores) though according to the description a leaderboard is coming, which would be interesting to see. The Hot To Play one kind of bugged me, considering it's online, in my opinion it should have been included, but oh well.

Now onto gameplay! The game plays like most defense games, although instead of free movement, or square tile based, it's hex tiles. This alone gives interesting traits, and makes certain towers better in certain positions. The interface is nice an simple, although on a small screen like my phones, some things are so small that touching them is a pain, mainly for me, the start point, which you touch to send the wave early.(and earn extra points) The towers you can build are along the bottom of the screen.

White, the basic minigun tower; Green, the piercing laser tower; Red, the homing missle tower; and Blue, the Area of Effect tower. All basic defense structures. The white towers are generally used to make your maze, and don't get much stronger when upgraded. Green are very useful, and can get very powerful, although they are expensive to fully upgrade. Red are also very useful, and because of relatively low cost, and the fact that extra missles after the target is destroyed will just choose another target, very effective weapon. The blue towers are okay... I would say good, but they are over priced unfortunately. They damage everything in the 6 hex's around them over time, and at earlier waves are extremely effective, but because of the ridiculous prices, it's impossible to get enough of them to be useful. You can almost get 2 maxed red towers for the price of one.

Level wise, some of them are nice and challenging, though others are far too easy.("Circle of Life" is more like the "Circle of Death", hehe) The only thing I find somewhat disappointing is that all the levels have the exact same waves of enemies, and you can generally use the same strategy for all the levels, just tweaking slightly for the layout of the level. It would be nice if each level required a totally different strategy, had different waves stronger or weaker to certain towers, etc. Hopefully this gets changed in the future.

Last thing to say, aesthetically, this game is great. The graphics aren't super advanced, but the simple look works really well. I haven't seen the full special effects, but even with them turned off the games looks perfectly good as it is.

All in all, I would suggest the game, it doesn't cost much for the full version, and is definitely one of the more fun games I've played on my Android. I can only hope it gets better and better as time goes on :) A tip for anyone having trouble, remember, quality over quantity.

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