hexceed is a free game released but a week or so ago on Steam by ToastieLabs that instantly caught my eye. It is a puzzle game that is, in short, Minesweeper with hexagons. As a wise Youtuber once said: “Hexagons are the Bestagons” and that premise alone piqued my interest.
However, instead of being a 15-minute distraction exploring just the idea of “Minesweeper with hexes”, the game surprised me with a developing set of mechanics. Walls will block the “sightline” of your hexes, so it’s not as clear what is or is not a mine until you clear a path around. Some hexes indicate not how many mines are adjacent but how many are in a 2-hex radius, requiring you to use that information plus that of surrounding hexes to figure out where the mines are. Others indicate how many mines are in a straight line, allowing you to quickly clear a row of hexes in a single move.
The game introduces the new mechanics slowly as you finish a campaign of puzzles, and although part of me wishes the new cells were explained more in-depth when they are introduced, there is something to be said for the way the game tries to introduce them more implicitly rather than throwing a wall of explanatory text at the player. If I were to ask for a quality-of-life improvement, a feature like in the so-familiar Windows minesweeper where all the adjacent “0” tiles are automatically cleared when you click one of them would be welcome to reduce the amount of clicking necessary.
It is a deceptively complex game working from a very simple set of rules, and for a development team of only two people -- Rob Small and Lee Fowles -- they’ve definitely created something very compelling here, and certainly worth a shot as a lockdown brainteaser.
hexceed is available for free on Steam.