Thursday, 29 January 2009
Rotohex WiiWare Review
Rotohex is an engrossing puzzler which, like Cubello, I think the mathematicians will enjoy.
The hexagonal playfield is static with little colourful triangles falling into place forming lovely hexagons. Initially there are two colours, but after clearing a number of hexagons an additional colour will appear. Periodically a flashing triangle will fall; if the hexagon it's part of is cleared, then all triangles of that colour will disappear. I got five colours on the screen at once before the playfield filled up which ended my game.
The mechanic is different to any puzzle game I've played and it took me a few minutes to get the hang of things. You can use the pointer or turn the wiimote on its side for a non-analogue interface and highlight different hexagons which you then rotate with A and B (or 1 and 2) buttons. You're trying to make a solid colour hexagon which then disappears. Often you'll need to rotate a series of hexgons to get your coloured triangles together and as you add more colours you need to start prioritising and try to figure out which colour has the greatest representation for ease of clearing. Periodically you see black lines streaking down the screen; clearing a hexagon in the path of the line when this is happening causes a hole to open in the bottom of the playfield and triangles to fall out giving respite to the triangle onslaught.
Hexagon rotation is a really good play mechanic and the colours are vibrant with the triangles having a subtle 3D effect on them. As you move the pointer you get a brief outline and the triangles become subtly reflective. After your game ends you can still move the pointer around to admire the beauty of the patterns created. It's a really welcome and original puzzler. Play solo mode enough and you unlock Endless Mode (apparently solo mode has an ending -- presumably after adding a sixth colour and clearing the requisite number of hexes of that colour).
Another great addition to the WiiWare library from Nintendo showing everyone else how it's done.
Check out the official WiiWare page for Rotohex here.