Feel like the walls are closing in? Well, here they do so at 100mph. Yikes!
Many games merely make up the numbers. A precious few become part of history. In this latest entry in our series on classic iPhone games, we take a look at a title that made punishment compelling.
What was Super Hexagon?
Akin to fusing a basic ‘avoid the walls’ arcade game with the experience of being inside a washing machine spin cycle, Super Hexagon invited you to survive. Then it revealed an evil grin once you realized you wouldn’t – not for very long anyway.
All you had to do was move left or right to zip through gaps in walls that relentlessly closed in while the screen span maniacally around. The tiny snag: the game started fast – and then got even faster.
Why was it a classic?
Super Hexagon sat on just the right side of being insanely infuriating. At first, it felt unfair. But you soon realized the wall patterns weren’t random – they could be learned. At that point, it became clear every failure was down to the inadequacy of your own reactions.
Persistence reaped rewards. With the intoxicating chiptune soundtrack pumping into your ears, the game would flip from maddening to hypnotic (and also still maddening) – not least when you got into the zone, survived fully 60 seconds, and made it to the end of a level. Although any celebration was short-lived – your success merely unlocked even harder levels.
Where is it now?
Super Hexagon remains available on the App Store. Although it’s not been updated since 2018, version 3 brought with it support for larger iPhones (and works great on the iPhone 13), ProMotion iPads, and even the iPad Pro smart keyboard. Although, frankly, playing with physical keys doesn’t make the game any easier.