Hexologic is one of the chilliest games you will play this year. The mobile puzzle game strikes a great balance between satisfying problem solving, impressive aesthetic details and an atmosphere that makes you feel as though you have just meditated all your stress away.

In some ways the gameplay is similar to Sudoku, you have to fill in a line with dots so it equals the number at the end of the line. But this is not an entirely justified comparison as Hexologic is much deeper and a lot more going on. Instead of a regular square shaped grid, the tile you tap are hexagons. So now you have to consider all six sides of the shape and navigate each discrete line to input the correct number of dots. These lines will also cross over from multiple angles, adding an extra layer of challenge.

Although there is a lot more to think about in this game the opening levels excellently establish the rules in a very accessible way. Anybody would be able to pick up this game and with a few taps already get to grips with it. Hexologic also adds in new mechanics just at the right time so you don’t end up getting bored. They are clever variants that keep the game feeling fresh, for instance, they are some tiles that already have dots in them that you cannot change and some that are linked to other tiles, so they can only have the same number of dots in them. And then they bring these multiple mechanics together in a satisfying progression as you go through the game.

You are never frustrated or annoyed by the puzzles in the game. Its focused straightforward rules and the fact that you never have to reset a level the game makes for a chill easy-going experience. But this is also partly due to Hexologic’s aesthetic features. The game’s art has a lot of style and uses colours beautifully. The backgrounds of the level select menu depict multiple different landscapes as you scroll through the list, all of them are easy on the eyes and feel as though they have dimension to them. The excellent music also contributes to this chill atmosphere. Relaxing sounds that mirror the backgrounds could easily be the ideal soundtrack to go to sleep to.

From the outset, Hexologic might just seem like a harder version of Sudoku, but it experiments with mechanics and the layout of the puzzles in interesting ways that will hold your attention till the very end. Its art and music both contribute to a lovely feeling of relaxation, which is especially hard to come by in video games. Hexologic is a game that absolutely deserves your time and attention.

 

Hexologic is available on iOS, Android and Steam. We played the iOS version. Find out more at mythicowl.com/hexologic or follow @mythicowlgames.