The App Hole: I Put A Hex On You

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The tower defense game has become ubiquitous. Since Atari’s Rampart hit arcades in 1990, many games have come along and matched its basic strategy: place stationary turrets in the path of moving units and keep them from reaching their intended target. Plenty of flash games and mobile tower defense games have come out, but one of the most interesting recent ones is Ben Gotow’s Hex Defense for Android. As the name suggests, turrets are placed on a hexagonal grid rather than a square one, which offers at least a slight change to the tower defense dynamics. The free version includes three levels, while $1.49 gets you the full twenty levels with two difficulty settings.

While the small screen of my phone doesn’t lend itself to give the turrets the fake vector look, the brightly colored line art for the graphics reminds me a lot of Geometry Wars. The enemies, on the other hand, look more solid. Yes, even the ones designed to be amorphous blobs. While we’re far from PS2 quality graphics, the speed of the game doesn’t seem to crumble under the sheer number of objects that can be on screen at a time, all a credit to Gotow’s skill at OpenGL programming.

Hex Defense is a fun time killer, but once you figure out the patterns and how best to deal with each board (the same basic strategy can be applied to all 20 levels), the game is no longer much of a challenge. But it’s worth the $1.49. The completist in me also wants to beat all 20 levels on hard difficulty, so even a month after first downloading it, the game’s still on my phone. And if Gotow develops a sequel, I see no reason why I wouldn’t take the plunge again.

Reviewed on an HTC Droid Incredible. Sorry, iOS users; it’s only available for Android.


If those pesky flying triangles get you hung up to start, send Don a tweet @UnwinnableDonB. He feels your pain.

Games, Review