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Neuroshima Hex Review (iPhone)

<em>Neuroshima Hex</em> Review (iPhone)
Game Name: Neuroshima Hex
Platforms: iPhone, iPad
Publisher(s): Portal Publishing
Developer(s): Big Daddy's Creations
Genre(s): Strategy
Release Date: October 2010
ESRB Rating: N/A

The Neuroshima Hex App by Big Daddy’s Creations is based on the popular board game of the same name and is available now from the appstore.  It is a great app and well worth the asking price.

Neuroshima Hex is a tactical, semi abstract tile laying wargame.  Like with many games of its’ genre, board game geeks are always excited to find a well produced electronic version.  Neuroshima Hex is definitely a gamers’ game but it requires the attention of the player to learn it due to the steep learning curve and abstract icons.

Players pick one of 4 unique armies and deploy combatants with lethal firearms and deadly swords in a claustophobic, hex tile formatted,  playing field.  The object is to field armies to destroy your opponents HQ.

There are times during the game when everyone is in a Mexican standoff until someone sounds the Battle call. Then all hell breaks loose. When the dust settles many are dead and the Headquarters of each opponent has taken some scrapes. Repeat until there are no armies left to fight.  The game ends immediately if an HQ is destroyed, otherwise the HQ with the most health wins.

Games take about 10-15 minutes, and most of that time is in the player thinking about his moves. There’s very little waiting for the PC.

From a game design standpoint, I enjoyed the great, yet agonizing decision on the tile picking and deployment.  While the field may feel constrained, it allows for quick and brutal combat.  The race design is asymmetric and well-balanced.

Initially one might feel frustrated by the mucking moves of your opponent, but you learn not to push too much for the knockout combo.  Gameplay-wise, its like a combat version of Hive . Others have called it chess with guns.

I think playing it digitally is the best way, since it easily avoids users making errors during battle resolution and does the battle resolution automatically.

With up to 4 player hotseat,  3 levels of AI, this game achieves a high replay value and makes for some great iPad entertainment.

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