What a thing Terry Cavanagh has done. What a thing. He’s only gone and inspired a new wave of game designers to go forth and do smart things with ultra-minimalism and design purity. Super Hexagon is and will be, I suspect a more important game than anyone expects, even though it’s already highly feted in The Right Circles. While there will doubtless be more cynical clones, there’s also so much to be explored in terms of simple shapes, reflex-based strategy and immaculate mastery of tiny movements. Chaotic, a free game by one amidos2006, will be one of Super Hexagon’s many, many children, and its approach is to look at Cavanagh’s game of precision spinning through the looking glass.
Rather than trying to sucessfully navigate out of an ever-changing angular labyrinth which forever speeds towards you, here you’re trapped forever inside it, able to move within only a miniscule area as the walls irregularly stab at at you, and death-on-contact foes drift towards you in increasingly higher numbers. You’re a cornered rat, essentially, and while you automatically spray bullets all over the place, directing where they take themselves simultaneously with dodging enemies which slip through their net en masse is high pressure stuff.
Initially I was all “yeah, this is breeze” but within minutes I’m “aaah I can’t do this”.
Sure, its debt is an obvious one, but it’s an acknowledged one – and even so, it’s nothing like a clone. It takes the aesthetic and the concept of precision then does something smart and tense with it. Take a look, in your browser, for no-pennies.
Via FreeIndieGam.es, inevitably.