I had the good fortune to attend Unpub 5 in Baltimore last weekend, a collection of incredibly bright designers and a breeding ground for great game design. I met with Aaron from Stone Circle Games and got a demo of Horrible Hex, which I'd been looking forward to since my Back It! interview with designer Jon Moffat. I was also excited to play because of their hilarious Kickstarter video (link below).
Horrible Hex is a tile placement game for 1-3 players, in which players vie to create patters of red and black hexes by sliding, swapping, pushing, and jumping tiles on the board. It's a delightfully simple game, as the only real barrier to learning is understanding the two steps in the turn (movement, then placement) and the symbols on the hexes themselves.
If you're a fan of abstract strategy and tile placement games (I am), then I think this game could be right up your alley. More after the jump!
Players compete to arrange the tiles in patterns that match Takenoko-style cards. These cards are public information, so players spend their turns trying to set the board to make their own pattern while prohibiting the other player(s) from making their own. The first player to complete two patterns is the winner.
I played a game with Aaron and Matthew O'Malley (designer of Diner and Between Two Cities) and ended up finishing with one pattern completed. Matthew wiped the floor with Aaron and I, which makes sense because he's brilliant. I enjoyed Horrible Hex, and commented afterwards that it felt like a game "that could have been designed by Sumerians 5000 years ago/"
Horrible Hex is currently on Kickstarter, and as of posting has six days left and about $8k left to be funded. I'm a big believer in indie publishing companies, and I've often said on my show that games deserve to exist. I think Horrible Hex is fun, I'd like to have it in my collection, and if you're interested, I'd love for you to click the link below and check out their campaign!
JR Honeycutt is a full-time husband and game-player, and co-host of The Nerd Nighters. You can find him on Twitter at @JayAhre or at a Friendly Local Game Store in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas. Some of his reviews are also published in Ravage Magazine or at Tabletop Gaming News.