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Neuroshima Hex Puzzle

For:   Also on: AndroidiPhoneiPad
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Rule of thumb

Product: Neuroshima Hex Puzzle | Developer: Big Daddy's Creations | Publisher: Big Daddy's Creations | Format: Android | Genre: Card/ board game, Puzzle | Players: 1 | Networking: wireless (network) | File size: 57.6MB | Version: Europe
 
Neuroshima Hex Puzzle Android, thumbnail 1
Order is very important. Only a fool would attempt to put on his underwear after pulling on his trousers, and there’s absolutely no sense whatsoever in hanging clothes out to dry before they’ve been washed.

But sometimes the natural order of things isn’t adhered to, and the release of Neuroshima Hex Puzzle is one such example of things being hopelessly back-to-front.

Based on an earlier iPhone release called Neuroshima Hex, this turn-based puzzle game possesses almost overwhelming depth and complexity, with a set of rules almost as long as your arm.

The joy of hex

With several distinct armies to choose from and a whole of raft units to command, you can’t accuse Neuroshima Hex Puzzle of scrimping on content.

Each tile’s usefulness is governed by different variables. Some have ranged attacks which mean they can fire on enemies without fear of retaliation, while others are melee specialists that pack a stronger punch but need to be adjacent to their intended victim, and therefore receive reciprocal damage in return.

You also have to deal with Module tiles, which augment the abilities of friendly units, and Action tiles, which allow you to perform one-off moves such as pushing an enemy unit away from your vulnerable headquarters or awarding one of your troops an additional turn.

The ultimate objective in Neuroshima Hex Puzzle is to decimate your opponent’s headquarters whilst dutifully protecting your own base. The way in which this occurs, though, is very different from the original Neuroshima Hex.

Board game brain teaser


The "puzzle" suffix of the title suggests what the alteration might be: instead of fighting against a computer-controlled opponent and enjoying complete control of your army’s deployment, you’re instead expected to triumph in 100 different preset scenarios.

Some of these situations are straightforward and require little more than the placement of a couple of tiles, while others are devious in their complexity and require you to understand the rules inside-out in order to emerge victorious.

It’s for this reason that it would have made infinitely more sense as to launch Neuroshima Hex Puzzle before the original game. This release serves as an excellent extended tutorial, carefully drip-feeding the rules over 100 different settings that cover every eventuality of the game.

Running before you can walk

Whereas the original Neuroshima Hex was a little guilty of dropping you in at the deep end, this puzzle-focused edition is much more forgiving and the rigid, structured progression through the 100 levels lends it more purpose than the first game’s story-less solitary battle sessions.

The limiting factor is that once the 100 stages are bested, there’s no additional challenges to indulge in. You could argue that it would have made more sense for this game to have been added to the original Neuroshima Hex as part of an expanded introduction.

Having said that, Neuroshima Hex Puzzle is unquestionably addictive and will keep you entertained right up to the moment you beat the final level. If you desperately wanted to like Neuroshima Hex but couldn’t penetrate the imposing ruleset, then this serves as the ideal way to educate yourself.
 
Neuroshima Hex Puzzle
Reviewer photo
Damien McFerran | 31 March 2011
Although it feels more like an expanded tutorial for the original Neuroshima Hex than a proper game in its own right, the 100 levels on offer here will provide many days of fiendishly challenging head-scratching enjoyment
 
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