When I first saw “Hextiles” by James Lee I immediately thought of the board game “The Settlers of Catan” and all those wonderful memories of days (and nights) playing various board games with friends and family. With this nostalgic and fond mood, I started playing the game.
When you open the playing field, hexagonal tiles of different land types are laid out before your eyes. There are various resources like crop, woods, lakes, mines, and ranches, but also castles, villages and watchtowers strategically placed. They help you finish the objectives you are given at the beginning of each level and that you have to complete within a specific time frame. For this, you’ll have to think of a strategy to solve the puzzle. It’s an interesting mix between a puzzle and “Catan-esque” strategy games. The level of difficulty is very balanced and the well thought out levels, together with the cute board game graphics, ensure that the game is getting addictive really fast.
Especially helpful is the glossary or mini-guidebook, that you are able to access every level through clicking onto the question mark. Great for checking the rules!
I spend a lot of time playing the game because I enjoyed it very much and after each level I went further, thinking “Just one more..”. But getting to play the game was a bit of a hassle. I tried downloading it on two devices, but the Play Store told me it wasn’t available for my device. When I tried to access it through a browser (from the same phones as before), they would tell me the game is not available in my country instead. I finally went ahead and started playing it at itch.io in my browser. That worked well, but I still would urge the developer to check the compatibility with various phones and countries, so more people can discover this gem (and I can have it on my phone).
Since I played the browser version, I am not sure how the soundscape is handled in the app, but I definitely missed some music or maybe some sounds that are appropriate to the resources depicted. Music possibly would make this game even more relaxing – or exciting depending on the tune.
Lastly, I feel a multi-player mode could make this game even more substantial. While I enjoyed playing on my own, I would need either more level or another mode to keep me engaged for a long time.
All pictures are in-game screenshots.