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Platform:  Gameboy
# of Players:  1-2
Developer:  Gajin
Publisher:  Ubi Soft Entertainment
Ratings:  Teen
Memory Req.:  
Hexcite is a challenging, and well thought out puzzle game that really taxes your brain to keep up with the AI. Even set on the easy AI level, you are constantly required to stay on your toes and the computer will take full advantage of your mistakes.I would say this game plays more like chess, than Tetris.

Hexcite is not like the usual puzzle game where you have to connect colors or shapes to remove a line. You do have to connect shapes, but there's a hitch.The game grid is made up of nine large, colored octagons, filled with small triangles. You must use different polygonal shapes to clear the contents of the octagons, and you receive points accordingly. The idea is not to clear the screen completely, but to use your shapes in the most efficient manner, and to prevent your opponent from using all of his.

You and your opponent have 6 different shapes to work with a small triangle, a small diamond, a polyhedron, a big triangle, a big diamond, and a half octagon.You have a randomly number of each shape. You have to start in the center octagon, and work your way out. You select a piece and can rotate it with the B button, to place it. When you place a piece and it fits, you receive 5, 10, or 15 points, and if you place the last piece to clear an octagon you receive a 10 or 30 point bonus. If you get to the end of the round, an you have pieces left over, they are deducted from your score. At the end of the round, whoever has the most points wins.

There are many different modes of play, Practice, 1P vs. CPU, Level mode, and 2P Link mode. All offer slightly different options, but the basic gameplay remains the same. I can't say that gameplay is addictive like Tetris, but it is compelling and I found myself wanting to continue well after the computer had beaten me time after time. I could almost say the AI is too hard, but it's not. It just challenges you to think in a way that most puzzle games don't. This title takes an old videogame staple, the puzzle game, and adds a new element.

Simple in concept, but incredibly challenging in execution, Hexcite is for any one who loves a good puzzle challenge.

John Cooper

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