Hexic Rush continues Alexey’s portable puzzle fun, but most casual fans won’t know he is the mind behind the colored gem matching title on Windows Phone 7. Much like Hexic HD, Hexic Rush is all about matching the like colored gems by spinning three gems at a time either clockwise or counter-clockwise.
Unlike the titles bigger brothers Hexic HD and Hexic 2 on the Xbox LIVE Arcade, Hexic Rush is a little more difficult on the confining and small screen on Windows Phone 7 devices. All the same concepts are present. There are score multiplying stars, bombs that countdown with each move that must be eliminated before the clock hits zero, and plenty of cascading pieces. There’s plenty of strategy to be had in this little portable puzzler, but it never quite hits the addictive point that makes a successful puzzle game.
You basically surround stars with six matching colored gems to create a flower which turns them into silver stars. If you do this with a bunch of created silver stars rather than colored gems, you’ll be treated to an explosion of flower petals. It’s not much different from the original Hexic on the Xbox LIVE Arcade as mentioned above. The complicated gameplay that is present will certainly keep some people coming back, but it lacks that “it” factor.
Hexic Rush comes packed with the default Marathon, Rush and Expert Rush modes. As the name implies, the Rush modes are about speed. This means you can forget about the strategy and time consuming planning from Marathon. Controls seem to get a little too touchy while you “rush” around the screen trying to make matches as quickly as possible. More often than not the rotations will move one or even two times more than intended. This results in a lot more frustration than satisfaction.
Alexey Pajitnov might not be as well known as he should be for the likes of Tetris and sadly Hexic won’t help his cause with so many other titles like Bejeweled overshadowing it. Hexic Rush is a solid game, but is flawed. If you’re looking for a little portable fun on your Windows Phone 7 or just couldn’t get enough of Carbonated Games’ Hexic on the Xbox LIVE Arcade, then Hexic Rush might be the perfect addition to your WP7 library of games. There are plenty of puzzle games out there though and many of them provide more fun than Alexey’s latest puzzle game.
Nevertheless, there are definitely flashes of the genius found in that earlier title – matching up a large chain or finally creating the fabled flower can be exhilarating - but the overcomplicated scoring and some iffy control issues stop it being another classic hit, and more one for the hardcore fans.