When it comes to mobile gaming, there are a few things which can guarantee an awesome game. First up it has to be addictive to keep you going back for more, it has to be easy to pick up and go and perhaps most importantly it has to be good value for money. Paying 69c for a game is great but if you can pay close to 3 bucks for a game that is far superior then why should that be a problem? So with that in mind, how does new indie puzzler Huebrix stack up? Pretty damn well.
Visually, Huebrix is a very pretty game, bright colours set against a white background make it a great game to look at, which is handy because you’ll be staring at it quite a bit. The aim of the game is to drag a stream of colour out from the starting block in such a way that all of the white board is covered up leaving behind a funky patchwork of bright and vibrant shades.
It’s not all filling in the blanks though, that would get super old super fast, but to keep the game feeling fresh after the first few plays, a variety of features are added as you progress. These include multiple colours, sometimes eight or nine at a time, they can’t be overlapped and the whole board still needs to be covered. Arrow blocks dictate the direction in which a stream must travel, grey blocks aren’t part of the board and merely serve to block your progress, ‘X’ blocks stop a stream in its tracks, meaning that the block must be zeroed when you hit it. Plus and minus blocks also feature and add to or subtract from a streams number of remaining spaces respectively. Finally, there is the gates, these sit on the edge of the board and allow your stream to travel to the opposite side of the game board. Gates don’t count as spaces on the square and sit on the edge of the board, meaning you do not have to pass through each in order to complete the level but most of the time they are essential to fitting all the colour in.
Now that we know how the game plays, what about difficulty? When you first fire up the game, it is well worth going straight into starter, it probably won’t flex the mind muscles to much and certainly won’t make your brain hurt, but it will ease you into the game . The starter levels are also a good starting point because even early level packs will throw you in at the deep end, whereas taking things slow and steady will introduce each new feature as it comes before you’re ready to go out and own the puzzles that are yet to come. Once you get into Huebrix, it becomes apparent that the lines of difficulty sometimes become a little blurred. Some of the levels found in easy packs can leave you stumped for ages, where as some found in higher difficulty packs will be solved almost instantaneously.
While the games difficulty can vary from stupidly easy to fiendishly hard, it is still the replay-ability which makes or breaks a mobile game. Take Angry Birds, the most successful franchise in mobile gaming which has now become a household name and it was all down to how addictive it was. But Huebrix is on a whole new level, it has carved out its own path paved with colours like crack cocaine. If Angry Birds was regular meth, then Huebrix is the bluest of the blue meth (see Breaking Bad) and will keep dragging you back to your phone at any given opportunity, just to work through the next insanely tough puzzle or go back to those already completed and try to better yourself.
Another great feature packed into Huebrix is the social aspect. Nowadays, gaming has become a huge social spectacle whether it be ‘gamerscore’ bragging rights or just topping the leader boards. Being GameCentre enabled, this means you can show off with achievements an the highest scores, but it isn’t all about beating your mates. As well as competition, the game allows you to build your own levels and share them with your friends, allowing you to send the challenge and show off your most deviant challenges.
For the cherry on the delicious cake that is Huebrix there is also a competitive edge, if a game doesn’t have a target or score system then it’s not worth playing. Here we also get to see that the game has a sense of humour. At your expense. Each level has four possible outcomes gold, silver, bronze and absolute failure, you can check how you’re doing using the nifty clock in the upper right of the screen during the puzzle as the icon will change along with the clock so speed is of the essence.
Overall, Huebrix is a fantastic game, not just for mobile but overall. It’s creative, challenging, not too tough and as social as you could hope a game to be. While some will consider the price tag a little steep, I merely point out the fact that you probably have a ton of 69c apps sitting on your handset that you’ve probably opened once or twice, whereas the sheer amount of time that you can spend with the game, more than justifies a higher price.
How do these ratings work? Click here for descriptions!
- Fun and addictive
- Not too easy, not too challenging
- Great level builder
- Sound can become a bit irritating, mostly played on silent
- Difficulty varies from level to level rather than just through one section