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Those new to the Xbox 360 will be greeted by a handful of simplistic game trials, available to purchase on Xbox Live. You also get one free 'full' game, which takes up minimal space on your harddrive and offers you a fun little option to keep you occupied when you want a slow paced, light puzzle style game. At first glance it looks simple enough, with little hexes as the name suggests, in bright primary colours. The objective of the game is to create stars and black pearls. You can scroll across the board of about 100 hexes (see the image in description), with a selector highlighting 3 of them and only 2 moves available - A & X flip the 3 selected either either clockwise or anti-clockwise. If three of the same coloured hexes collide, they explode and you gain a low amount of points, while more hexes fall from the sky to refill the board. When you explode enough hexes, you reach the next level. The main objective however, to create stars, is a much harder art that requires patience and foresight. There are three modes to choose from - Marathon Mode, the main game with no time limit, Timed Mode and Survival Mode which varies greatly from the first 2 in that you must keep the hexes down to a minimum or they become rock solid, cluttering up the board similar to Tetris. (each mode has three difficulties, easy, normal & expert)
These are the building blocks of the entire game. They come in primary colours (including green and purple), with added secondary and tertiary colours being thrown into the mix after set levels in the game. Only a block of three can be rotated and can consist of stars, bombs or black pearls
To create a star, one must maneuver 6 of the same coloured hex, into a flower shape (or indeed star) with the middle hex being a different colour entirely. Stars themselves can be highlighted on their own and when rotated, move all 6 hexes around them to aid in the production of more stars, moving about and creating black pearls. When three stars collide together, they disintegrate providing a high amount of points, but this will prove a troublesome point grab.
Are when crafted when 6 stars are shifted into the star/flower position. A black pearl can move only 3 hexes in an inverted Y position. The combination of 3 pearls into a cluster ends the game in victory. These can give you millions of points.
look like ordinary hexes but with a number inside them. This number is the amount of moves you have before it explodes and its game over. To remove them you must either colide them with 2 other hexes of the same colour. Towards the later levels, these bombs decrease the amount of moves left to get rid of them.
Spice up the game even more. Combining them with 2 more star hexes of any colour, explode a large section of hexes. Combine them with a bomb however and remove all hexes of the bombs colour. The game is at first rather difficult, which is why so many people ignore it irrationally. But give it time and get the hang of it and you'll find it rather addictive, especially as you can compete with your friends high scores on the leader-boards. To explain my appreciation for it, I purchased a second hand Xbox which had no copy of Hexic on it. I went to the effort of trying to find it on the marketplace and even copying it from other friends consoles but nothing worked. Luckily it has been made available for free download on the xbox live marketplace. I played it so much at one point that I saw all the hexes when I shut my eyes. There is some really atmospheric, ambient music that makes it feel really trippy to play but you can always play your own music over it - Massive Attack is a good choice. It also has a sequel, Hexic 2 which I don't recommend as it mixes up the game a bit too much and of course, this time costs microsoft points.