Hex Brutal (Free) by Appsolute Games LLC and RisingHigh is a challenging side-scrolling cave shooter that is sure to keep fans of the genre entertained for a while. If you liked games like Alone and Shooting Stars, then you’ll get a kick out of Hex Brutal.
When it comes to my mobile gaming sessions, the best thing for me is a quick game that I can pick up and play at any time, but easily put back down when necessary. These are the games that are perfect for when you have a few minutes to spare, or just need some entertainment on your daily commute to work. Personally, I find that arcade games are one of the best types of games for these short sessions, since the games last no more than a few minutes each (at least for me). So when I was browsing the App Store, I remembered hearing about Hex Brutal, and had to give it a shot myself.
The visuals in Hex Brutal are simple and clean, as the game goes with a minimalistic, flat design that fits right in with the modern aesthetics of iOS these days. Hex Brutal uses nothing more than various hues of white and black with a dash of color for bullets and lasers, so the game has a nice, overall modest appearance. The color palette is rather soothing when you look at it from a distance, and the animations are buttery smooth. To top things off, the game has a tranquil soundtrack in the background that is delightful to listen to, and the sound effects and audio clues of upcoming dangers is a nice touch (get a good pair of earbuds or turn up the volume when playing).
There is only one game mode in Hex Brutal, and that is the classic, endless “how-far-can-you-go” mode. Players must navigate through a side-scrolling cave that is separated into several different “areas,” with a specific layout for each level. Once you reach the checkpoint of the next sector, that’s where you will begin when you start a new game. However, getting to the checkpoints is not an easy task, and you will probably die a lot, since one wrong move can cost you, forcing you to start back at the beginning. A good tip is to memorize how each level goes so you can plan ahead of time for the spots that give you a bit of a problem. Eventually, you’ll be able to reach the next checkpoint, which is a big achievement in itself. Points are earned based on how far you get and how many things you shoot.
Controls for Hex Brutal are straightforward and intuitive. Over on the left half of the screen, you’ll be able to drag your finger around to move the ship backward, forward, up, and down. Having a fluid movement system is important, as you’ll have to avoid many dangerous hazards, both still and moving, in this hexagon-filled cave. Fortunately, the controls for flying around is responsive, so I had no problems during testing. On the right side of the screen is a button for shooting a laser from your ship, which you can even just hold down to continuously fire.
At first, I thought the game was fairly easy, so I didn’t think much of it. Then I began to find the tiny color lasers that are being shot from the ceiling and the ground, as well as collapsing hexagons from the ceiling that smashed my ship because I was too close while avoiding incoming enemy ships. Yes, the game starts off slow and easy, but don’t be fooled — Hex Brutal can throw anything at you within seconds, so make sure you’re prepared. As I mentioned, you’re going to die a lot, but this gives you the opportunity to learn the layout of the sector before trying again and again. After all, you learn more from your failures than successes.
Games like this always come with high replay value, so Hex Brutal is definitely a game that one will be coming back to for a while. There is also Game Center integration for high scores, so there is a good reason to keep playing. I’m on top of the leaderboards among my friends right now, and I want it to stay that way.
I’m a big fan of side-scrolling endless shooter games, so naturally, I’m enjoying Hex Brutal a lot. The minimalistic visual style is easy on the eyes, the music and sounds add a layer of depth to the game, and the controls are intuitive and responsive, making it a streamlined experience. The game is difficult and will require a lot of patience, but it is one that will end up being hard to put down once you get going.
I recommend giving Hex Brutal a look if you’re a fan of twitchy reflex games. Hex Brutal is available on the App Store as a universal download for free with ads. You can tip the developers $1.99, $2.99, or $3.99 through in-app purchases to remove the ads and show your support.