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There's something primal about Super Hexagon Exclusive
There's something primal about  Super Hexagon
September 12, 2012 | By Mike Rose

September 12, 2012 | By Mike Rose
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    14 comments
More: Console/PC, Indie, Design, Business/Marketing, Exclusive



Super Hexagon's success on iOS has taken developer Terry Cavanagh very much by surprise. The game, an expansion on Cavanagh's original Pirate Kart entry Hexagon, sold more than 10,000 copies in its first three days on sale in the App Store -- a total that the dev never dreamed was possible for a seemingly niche experience.

Not that it surprised the rest of us. With such iconic titles as VVVVVV, At a Distance, Don't Look Back and Pathways already under his belt, it seems like Cavanagh can do no wrong.

Cavanagh's first foray into the world of iOS development went off without a hitch, thanks to his smooth gelling with the Adobe AIR environment, and a concept that struck a chord with the iOS audience. Players rotate an arrow around a hexagon-shaped playing field, dodging through gaps and second-guessing morphing shapes to survive for as long as possible before hitting a wall.

"Making Hexagon for the Pirate Kart didn't get the game out of my system," Cavanagh tells Gamasutra. "It's something I kept thinking about for months after I'd released it. I felt like I'd stumbled onto something really primal, and I wanted to spent some time exploring it properly."

He adds, "I didn't expect it would turn into quite as big a project as it did, though." The original was released just over six months ago, and can still be played on Cavanagh's website.



Most notable about Super Hexagon is its similarities to Cavanagh's other most popular title VVVVVV. Both games feature rather masochist gameplay, killing players over and over again at high speed, but allowing quick restarts to ease the potential frustration.

While you might assume that Cavanagh purposely makes his games hair-pullingly difficult, he says this honestly isn't really the case -- rather, he just tries to balance the difficulty to levels that he believes to be the most enjoyable.

"I guess it just sort of happens naturally," he notes. "Most of the time I spent working on Super Hexagon, I spent tweaking things, playing it again, gradually improving it little by little with each iteration. It feels the way it does because that's what feels good to me."

Cavanagh's next port of call is to provide PC and Android builds of Super Hexagon before diving back into work on his Nexus City RPG with fellow indie dev Jonas Kyratzes. Nexus City definitely has one of Cavanagh's longer cycles for a game, having been in development since the start of 2010.

Whatever the plan, it will no doubt receive as much attention as his prior works when it's eventually ready.


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Comments


Samuel Green
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This game is ludicrously addictive. I'm amazed at how something so simple can be so engaging. It's inspiring. And that music...

Samuel Green
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True, it's not doing anything super revolutionary. My 'so engaging' comment was mainly about the sheer joy I have when playing it. The speed, frequency of patterns, the pumping soundtrack and graphics... the overall FEEL is what I'm engaged with (moreso than many more complex and story based games).

Something so simple, like a grilled cheese sandwich, that is so perfectly formulated that I can't get enough of it :)

Ron Dippold
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Hypnogogic hallucinationsahoy!

Kenan Alpay
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It's a really fun game, I'm happy it's so successful!

Jeremy Alessi
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It makes me feel like an idiot, which may be true but that's beside the point!

Awesome game though, in some ways I think it is the very definition of what a video game should be; here are some patterns, now adapt ... quickly.

Mike Motoda
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iOS Game of the Year for me so far. It's a terrific title and I was thrilled that Cavanagh took time to do the Reddit AMA and answered questions on NeoGAF, too.

Now if I could just beat Hexagonest and unlock the madness of Hyper Hexagonest. Getting closer at just under 40 seconds, but 60 seconds seems like a lifetime away!

Terry Matthes
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The game's core mechanic seems pretty damn cool. Definitely my type of game!

Kris Graft
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I'm loving this game. (53 seconds... MUST IMPROVE.)

The short play cycles really encourage an evolution of tactics, and recognition and distinction of specific, moving patterns. Begin, adapt, game over, begin, adapt, game over, begin, adapt, game over.

It's like Demon's Souls distilled down into a 99 cent app.

Krishna israney
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I'm frankly not surprised it sold 10k considering it was featured on
RPS - http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/09/10/war-on-geometry-super-
hexagon/
Kotaku - http://kotaku.com/5940426/you-probably-cant-last-30-seconds-super
-hexagon-but-buy-it-anyway
Edge - http://www.edge-online.com/reviews/super-hexagon-review

Raymond Grier
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Awesome!

Raymond Grier
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I tapped out at 43:17 Level 4:Square. My eyes and brain no longer function properly, everything looks like a rotating hexagon. ;P

Raymond Grier
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Just reached 51:05 level 5:Pentagon. It's so addictive.

Raymond Grier
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53:41 ...I'm dizzy and haven't done any programming yet today :(

Raymond Grier
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61:50 Level 6:Hexagon Woohoo!!!


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