The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn’t necessarily mean our Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable “best" thing. Instead, it’s more just us picking out the single game out of the week’s releases that we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one.
These picks might be controversial, and that’s OK. If you disagree with what we’ve chosen, let’s try to use the comments of these articles to have conversations about what game is your game of the week and why.
Without further ado…
I often have trouble picking out a Game of the Week when there’s multiple new games that I’ve been loving, and in those cases I typically default to “the game I can’t stop playing." This week that game is Hexagon Dungeon (Free), developed by Bleor Games and brought to iOS by ZPLAY Games. It actually launched on iOS over a week ago, but just missed the cutoff for last week’s roundup of new releases, and in fact the game has been out on Android since last year. It’s a matching game with battling mechanics and RPG systems layered on top, and while it feels like different parts of a bunch of different games all sewn together, I can’t really think of anything quite like Hexagon Dungeon.
The game takes place on a 3×5-ish hexagonal board. Various colors of hexagons appear either in singles or in pairs and must be placed on the board with the goal being to match 3 or more of a certain color. The colors also represent different levels of monsters which you can command, and creating a match not only sends that monster in to attack whatever enemy you’re up against, but it will also combine into a single hexagon one level higher wherever you ended up placing the piece that made a match. This gives it a combining element similar to Threes! that also adds a high level of board management strategy to the mix. When hexagons appear in pairs you’re able to rotate them around to your liking, and if you aren’t careful about your placements and planning ahead you’ll find yourself with a filled up board and a Game Over screen.
The “enemies" you battle are hilarious, and adorable. Like a milk cow or a dog or a village girl. Just innocent little creatures that you’re trying to kill using your evil team of monsters. Your main character is called a Pet and this character determines the amount of HP and mana you’ll have to use. You can unlock and purchase a whole bunch of different Pets, of all strengths and sizes. You’ll fight enemy after enemy culminating in an occasional boss fight against a super powerful enemy, but once you eventually die your score and gold collected is tallied up and you’re whisked back to do it all over again. There’s also some minor city-building type stuff going on outside of the main game, which is an alternate way to do things like earn more gold and unlock new Pets.
I think my favorite thing about Hexagon Dungeon is that nothing is explained very well. That sounds like a bad thing but the core gameplay loop is so strong I’ve been enjoying picking up on little things here and there as I’ve played each game. There’s still stuff I don’t understand, and maybe I’ll never understand them, but it doesn’t totally matter because I’m having tons of fun. I love games like that. Hexagon Dungeon is free to play with a $1.99 IAP to remove interstitial ads. Opt-in ads remain for doubling your gold after a game, and in-game currency packs can be purchased as IAP too. Based on stuff I’ve read about the Android version it sounds like unlocking stuff can get a bit grindy, but again the core gameplay is so fun I don’t mind playing a lot and slowly progressing. It’s certainly worth checking out for free to see if it’s your cup of tea, and don’t be surprised if the unique mashup of mechanics and the quirky style of Hexagon Dungeon win you over.