Under the moniker Increpare, Stephen Lavelle has built a treasure trove of lovely little puzzle games. I’d wholly recommend checking out his site – it’s a fascinating collection of HTML experiments. I’m sure indie enthusiasts have been lost for weeks exploring countless puzzlescript curiosities.
Every so often, one of these breaks onto shelves with a price tag. Brutal puzzlers with striking visuals like Stephen’s Sausage Roll and English Country Tune. This time around, Lavelle’s taken a different tune with minimal action-puzzler Hypnocult.
Hold on. Crunchy old-school visuals? A popping chip soundtrack? SHAPES? Why, this all seems quite familiar!
It’s awfully Super Hexagon, isn’t it? But far from an imitator, Increpare’s fingerprints are all over this neat little rhythm-blaster. It helps that Hexagon creator Terry Cavanagh’s given it his blessing, mind.
Here’s the deal. You’ve got these lines popping out from the centre – miss one and you’re out. Simple, right? Thing is, you can’t catch one unless they’re neatly tucked into a single segment – and these bad boys can span 2, 3 or more. By mashing X, you can swap the two paths in your segment, squashing one segment while stretching others.
Hypnocult demands you be as proactive as you are reactive, hitting rapid beats while setting the stage for future riffs. It’s easy to properly screw yourself over in the heat of the moment. It’s infuriatingly difficult, sure, but in fascinating ways. I might not be the person to beat it, but I’m well up for watching some high level play with absolute awe.