Hexcells And Hexcells Plus Now Available On Steam

By John Walker on February 20th, 2014 at 6:00 pm.

If for some reason you were wanting to play Hexcells, because it’s the best new puzzle game this decade, but you couldn’t bring yourself to do it without its being on Steam, all is now resolved. Matthew Brown’s sublime puzzlers are on the big grey store for £2 each, or the pair for £3.50.

As I have often mentioned, I adore pure puzzle games. My year-long obsession with Killer Sudoku took a back(toilet)seat after discovering the pure joy of Kakuro, although this too is now being set aside having stumbled upon Campixu. Oh Campixu, how I love thee. And how desperately I wish thee would get an Android or 3DS app smartish. Right now I have three different copies of a former German puzzle magazine called Logic Pixels scattered in various parts of the house, ordered from mein-presseshop via the magic of Google Translate, just so I can get at more of these post-Picross wonders. I fall asleep playing Flow Free on my phone (presently while listening to the mellifluous voice of Grover Gardner reading me The Stand), and can’t let a day go by without completing the Telegraph’s cryptic crossword. (Don’t worry, I’m not mad – I don’t buy the paper – I get it from their puzzle site.) I regale you with all this to emphasise the significant role puzzle games play in my life.

And it is into this context that I celebrate Hexcells as the best I’ve played in years.

While at first glance it’s possible to see this as a hexagonal Minesweeper, it’s so important to put such a notion as far out of your head as possible. Hexcells has far more in common with the wonderful Picross (Nonograms), combined with the sorts of mental acrobatics that are needed for something like the sublime Slitherlink. As you play, more elements are introduced to the puzzles, until their complexity becomes a thing or purest joy. By the time you’re halfway through Hexcells Plus, you’ll have developed such an arsenal of techniques that you’ll feel like some sort of puzzling god.

I implore you to see for yourself. And no, I promise I’m not on commission for this game, despite my repeated plugging of it. I just love it to bits, and have received so many tweets and emails from people thanking me for alerting them to it. Also, I hope that if I can make the game popular enough, Brown will be forced to make new levels for it, and stop me from needing to play them both through for a fifth time.

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23 Comments »

  1. Lambchops says:

    Ah, been waiting fr it to crop up on Steam. I more or less trust Mr Walker’s opinion on puzzle games so I’m looking forward to giving it a go.

  2. RobinOttens says:

    I like how yours is the only press quote on the game’s website (and on the steam store page).

    “… absolutely stunning” – John Walker

    So, if I buy Hexcells Plus I’m good to go? Or should I play the other one first? Both? I’d prefer to just buy one of the two. Though, for that price…

    • field_studies says:

      Oh, play the first one first I think. The second really does build in a lot of the basics in the first, and really increases the difficulty. Plus, once you finish Plus you’ll wish there were more to play, and it’ll probably feel weird going back to the easier original.

      PS. for anyone that bought the games directly from the developer, check your humble receipt – there’s now a ‘free’ steam key there for you.

      • RobinOttens says:

        Thanks. I bought Hexcells from the guy’s site. And now I have it on steam and as a DRM free download! Amazing things these humble widgets.

      • Frank says:

        Yeah, I accidentally played Plus first, thinking it was just a new edition of the same game. Oops. It’s fun to do it that way, too, I can attest.

        It would be nice if Humble sent a note whenever new keys are added to a game, but I can hardly complain.

  3. SillyWizard says:

    Well it’s about damn time!

  4. Clement says:

    Well I now have Steam keys to give away. I liked these so much that I just outright bought it again when it was released on Steam, so now I have an extra Steam key for both games from my original purchases.

  5. Laurentius says:

    Hexcells is bloody brilliant ! Praise John Walker for highlighting this wonderful game!

  6. aego says:

    In other slightly related news, Drox Operative has also been launched on Steam. I must have missed the greenlight approval, yet here it is. And it’s 50% off.

  7. fabulousfurrygingerfreakbrothers says:

    I love puzzle games and have been meaning to get Hexcells for a while after John’s repeated mentions, and now I am so glad I have. The sound is brilliant and the game makes you both think and utterly chill out. Like coming down off ecstasy only without the muck under your fingernails. Love it.

  8. meepmeep says:

    Dammit, when I first saw this on the front page I thought it was announcing a third game :(

    GIMME MORE HEXCELLS

  9. Armante says:

    Thank you. Bundle purchased.

  10. Syme says:

    I loved Hexcells, but Hexcells plus is a bastard that makes me feel stupid. The numbered blue hexagons cause my brain to crash.

    • Shadowcat says:

      I like the numbered blue cell puzzles, but not the implementation — despite the regularity, the boundaries just aren’t obvious enough to me, so I spend way more time staring at them than I should need to, which is unnecessarily frustrating. Plus, I wish that the number included the central tile, but maybe that’s just me. But that’s just a small negative in a sea of positive — both the games are awesome!

  11. Deano2099 says:

    Good news?

    Upcoming app “Let’s IQ Campixu”

    The app for Windows 8, iPad, iPhone and Android devices is expected for autumn 2014.

    Here, we will keep you up to date.
    http://www.letsiq.com/en/puzzles/campixu

  12. WHS says:

    I bought the game two hours ago, and now this is where my life is at:

    I honestly don’t believe puzzle 28 can be solved without guessing. I’ve got it down to four tiles with zero mistakes and now I’m just staring at the game dumbfounded. Either I’ve suffered a complete cognitive meltdown or there’s something wrong with this one. Probably the former.

    • WHS says:

      Update: complete cognitive meltdown. I just wasted forty-five minutes staring at a computer screen because I counted three when there were four of something.

      • Armante says:

        ‘like’

        sorry, couldn’t resist.

        I just played the first two levels, and Hexcells is dreamy, relaxing, fun and slowly getting harder. Will be interesting to see how well I play when sleep deprived and lacking attention to detail when the baby has a bad day :)

  13. Humppakummitus says:

    I would just like everyone to know, that title picture is EXACTLY the spot I was stuck on last night.