Super Hexagon for iOS devices is training by indifference
You hold the right side of the screen to move right and the left side of the screen to move left in Super Hexagon, the latest game by VVVVVV developer Terry Cavanagh. You need to move around a hexagonal shape while avoiding lines that begin at the outside of the screen and move inward. The music is provided by Chipzel. The trailer embedded in this post will tell you everything you need to know about the game. It’s $1 on the App Store right now.
I lasted two seconds on my first attempt. I lasted five on my next. 25 seconds is my current high score. This is on the “Hard” difficulty mode, mind you. Of course, the game begins at that difficulty level. The next one up is “Harder.” This is the gaming equivalent of making your small soda a large, and your large a super-size, but there is no lie here; the first difficulty level is punishing.
There is an art to making a game that’s difficult without being frustrating. Super Hexagon doesn’t exactly invite you to keep playing, as the game’s music and aesthetics are way too cold and distant to be considered welcoming, but it’s easy to jump back in and try for a longer time. Most games take great pains to hold your hand and pat your head. Indifference is refreshing.
“Begin,” a female voice tells you when the game begins. “Again,” she says after you fail. “Again,” she repeats when you try the next time. “Again,” she says as you continue on. It feels like training with a dispassionate teacher who does not have any concern with whether you’re going to keep up. “Line,” she says when you proceed to the second “level,” and that sound feels like a pat on the back, even if the tone of her voice never changes.
“Again,” she says. It’s a command, not a question. This is what it’s like to play the game.